Handouts to Horse Racing Industry Do Little to Benefit Working New Jerseyans

Testimony from NJPP Senior Policy Analyst Peter Chen in opposition to subsidizing horse racing with tax credits.

Published on Jun 24, 2024 in Economic Justice, Tax and Budget

The state of New Jersey should not be in the business of subsidizing horse racing at all, let alone at a level of $20 million a year. Horse racing is not a public service, a benefit to the public at large, or frankly a benefit at all. It is, rather, a private multi-billion dollar industry, whose profits go largely to the pockets of executives and investors, not everyday New Jerseyans.

Nationally, purse amounts are substantially above pre-pandemic trend with average purse amounts at an all-time record high. Meanwhile gaming revenues and profits continue to increase. Again, it is unclear why these subsidies are needed or justified, nor whether they were needed at all in the first place.

At a time when everyday New Jerseyans continue to struggle with affordability and with the state running a structural deficit and burning through its surplus, handing $100 million to further prop up the horse racing industry puts state dollars where they are least needed.

I urge you to vote no on this bill.

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