Dancer bill increasing horse racing subsidies clears committee

Dancer bill increasing horse racing subsidies clears committee

Ron Dancer

TRENTON, N.J. – The Assembly Appropriations Committee on Monday released Assemblyman Ron Dancer’s New Jersey horse racing bill providing $5 million in additional funds to the New Jersey Racing Commission.

The horse racing industry for years has received state subsidies for its purses. The 2021 state budget slashed $5 million from what had been a $20 million subsidy. Dancer’s bill (A6024) would restore that $5 million to the New Jersey Racing Commission’s budget for horse racing purse subsidies.

The industry had previously enjoyed a $30 million annual subsidy from Atlantic City casinos, under the condition that tracks not offer slot machines. The subsidy was slashed in 2011 when Monmouth Park, the Meadowlands, and Freehold Raceway were privatized, but was partially restored in 2019. The subsidy was considered for the chopping block two years later, but the governor and legislators reached a compromise of $15 million.

“Our racetracks not only provide entertainment, but also thousands of jobs,” Dancer (R-Ocean) said. “My bill ensures the purses remain attractive, revenue for racetracks remains stable, and jobs remain in New Jersey.”

Dancer’s bill now goes to the Assembly speaker for consideration.