$100M to New Jersey horse tracks? You bet

Months after New Jersey instituted sports betting, in part with the promise of reviving its horse racing industry, the Legislature is moving to provide $100 million in state funding to those tracks to increase the purses paid to race winners.

A bill recently approved in a 40-0 vote in the Senate proposes sending $20 million a year for five years, starting in 2019, to the New Jersey Racing Commission for purse subsidies. It now awaits a vote in the Assembly Tourism, Gaming and the Arts Committee, which meets on Jan. 17.

A.J. Sabath, a lobbyist for the Standardbred Breeders and Owners of New Jersey, said sports betting parlors have helped the Monmouth Park and Meadowlands tracks but that a little extra adrenaline is needed.

“The theory was at the time that if there’s sports betting at the race tracks that that will trickle down and help support horse racing. And so this is a little added insurance that that will occur,” Sabath said…