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New Jersey Lawmakers Most Likely Would Thumbs Up a $20M Horse Racing Boost

The foreseeable future might see major changes taking place across New Jersey’s horse racing field as a new subsidy is going to be introduced for consideration next Monday. This $20-million appropriation might just be what the doctor ordered for both the thoroughbred and standardbred sectors and the official nod of the full Senate could be given on 27th September.

The field had been anticipating the projected impact of this proposed bill and projections were made ever since its initial introduction in August. The said amount of money would be divided in an appropriate manner among the leading racecourses in operation across New Jersey, distributed by the New Jersey Racing Commission. All there is to be done at this point is left in the hands of the Governor’s office and the final decision set to be made.

Equal Distribution across the Field

According to the previously established funding plan, Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport is going to receive the biggest slice of the pie and bag a total of $10 million in 2019. Thoroughbred racing at the facility would immensely benefit from the introduction of the said amount of money coming straight from the General Fund. The remaining $10 million would be distributed across the standardbred sector of New Jersey’s racing field, aiming to bring results and improvement in the foreseeable future.

Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford is set to bag some $6 million, another major share of the overall amount of money introduced to the industry. Meanwhile, the half-mile harness racing track Freehold Raceway would receive a total of $1.6 million as an aid for its future operation. New Jersey Sire Stakes program is going to get $1.2 million, whereas both sired racehorses and the awards distributed throughout the field would receive $600,000.

Senator Vin Gopal, D-Monmouth confirmed that next Monday would see the vital appropriation posting. It could be recalled that he was the lawmaker who proposed the bill back in August in the two houses of the Trenton Legislature. He stated that for the first several months of his work as the Senator’s efforts have mostly been dedicated to sports wagering regulation and seeking improvement for the proposed sports betting framework. Now that this feat has been accomplished, the next step would be horse racing boost

Much Needed Boost for the Sector Projected

Teaming up with Assemblyman John Burzichelli, they both had purses’ best interest in mind when proposing the appropriation. Among the arguments in support of the idea, there were listed the industry’s potential and how state lawmakers should make sure the profitable field receives adequate support in the upcoming months. It has been confirmed that Senate President Steve Sweeney, D-Gloucester has a positive outlook on the considered bill, indicating potential greenlighting next week.

This subsidy would prove to be essential for the operation of many of the racetracks since at the moment New Jersey fails to provide the needed support. In comparison, New York provides some $200 million for the purses of its horse racing sector, whereas Pennsylvania goes even further and sets aside a total of $250 million. Casino developers in the gaming hub of Atlantic City used to offer their helping hand by sending $30 million per year to the horse racing industry, but the year 2010 and gaming crisis led to the cessation of such support.

It could be recalled that back then Monmouth Park used to receive $17 million through the said annual supplements. The last days of this month would see the potential introduction of $10 million to the race course, which is still not nearly as much as the originally provided boost. However, sports wagering at the said locations also provide for a considerable support of the facility.

Over the span of its first weekend of sports wagering back in June, the well-known racetrack witnessed significant interest surge and a total of 34,201 enthusiasts willing to put their judgment to the test by placing a wager. The total amount of bets placed over the span of the first three days of operation of the sportsbook amounted to some $1,604,133 on the races.

 Author: Hannah Wallace

Hannah Wallace has been part of our team since the website was launched. She has a master’s degree in IT.