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Lawmakers unveil bill to boost racetracks with $20M

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Monmouth Park Racetrack.
Monmouth Park Racetrack. - ()

As the state’s horse racing season draws to a close, lawmakers are eyeing a measure that they say will infuse cash into the state’s three racetracks and help keep them afloat.

On Tuesday, Senator Vin Gopal, D-11th District, and Assemblyman John Burzichelli, D-3rd District, announced plans to roll out a bill that would direct $20 million from New Jersey’s general fund into the New Jersey Racing Commission.

The commission in turn will be tasked with splitting the fund among the three racetracks and between the thoroughbred and standardbred industries.

New Jersey’s three race tracks are Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport, Freehold Raceway in Freehold and the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford.

Under the proposed Senate Bill 2312, 60 percent of the money would go to the Meadowlands Overnight Purses, 16 percent to Freehold Overnight Purses, 12 percent to New Jersey Sire Stakes, six percent to purse bonuses for New Jersey Sired Horses and six percent for Breeders Awards.

Money that goes to the thoroughbred industry would have to be allocated 100 percent to Monmouth Park Overnight Purses.

“Monmouth Park has struggled since losing a $17 million annual payment from the state’s casino industry to supplement purses in 2011, while the thoroughbred industry has been unable to keep pace with tracks in neighboring states with purse structures bolstered by casino dollars,” Gopal said in a prepared statement. “We cannot allow venues like Monmouth Park to falter.”

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Daniel J. Munoz

Daniel J. Munoz

Daniel Munoz covers politics and state government for NJBIZ. You can contact him at dmunoz@njbiz.com.

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Onid August 31, 2018 8:21 am

More welfare for the cesspool of cheaters. Thank god I escaped from NJ.