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NY Bill Threatens To Cut Racing Funds

Published: November 18, 2021 11:11 am ET

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State legislation introduced in New York threatens to cut approximately $230 million in annual revenue from slot machines that's currently paid to horse racing tracks and breeders.

According to an article in The Albany Times Union, the legislation, sponsored by state Sen. Zellnor Myrie, D-Brooklyn, and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, D-Manhattan, would eliminate the payments from slot machine revenues to hosting or adjacent horse racing tracks in New York as well as breeders.

The funding would be redistributed to schools, human services and other public uses, with a portion going towards agricultural grants, funding for horse care and the adoption of horses, and supporting economic development in communities that host horse racing facilities.

“NYRA will vigorously oppose this legislation in order to protect jobs for working families, preserve the horse racing economy and ensure the sport’s success now and in the future," said Patrick McKenna, a spokesman for the New York Racing Association, which operates Saratoga Race Course, Aqueduct Race Track and Belmont Park. "Racing support payments are not subsidies. The payments from [slot machine] revenues are made to the Thoroughbred industry in part because NYRA transferred land and other intellectual property to the state in 2008, and has acted as the steward of the properties in the years since."

To read the article in its entirety, click here.

(With files from Times Union)

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