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Gural On NJ Budget Proposal

Published: August 27, 2020 10:40 am ET

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“It’s a disaster for the industry and would be catastrophic, no two ways about it. It would cost thousands of jobs and be devastating for breeders,” Meadowlands Racetrack Owner Jeff Gural has said in regard to the announcement that New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s revised budget proposal includes the elimination of the $20 million purse subsidy for horse racing.

Gural emphasized that it’s critical that NJ horse racing stakeholders contact their legislators before the budget is approved.

“Everyone in our industry needs to reach out to their local legislators,” urged Gural. “The budget won’t be finalized until the end of September. We have a month to convince the governor and legislators not to eliminate the subsidy.”

To contact your local NJ legislators, click here, enter your municipality and send an email to each one. To call your representatives in the NJ Senate and Assembly, click here and select your district for phone numbers.

In Wednesday’s (Aug. 26) njonlinegambling.com story, John Brennan reported that among Gov. Murphy’s revised budget proposal cuts to try to counteract the loss of revenue due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic “is a $20 million cut from an annual horse racing purse subsidy that was signed into law in February 2019. That money was to be split each year equally between the Thoroughbred horsemen at Monmouth Park and the harness racing communities of Meadowlands Racetrack and Freehold Raceway.

“The subsidy is a mere fraction of the hundreds of millions in slot machine revenue subsidies allocated to racetracks in New York and Pennsylvania, but it has helped the bottom line of all three tracks in both 2019 and 2020,” wrote Brennan.

In addition, AJ Sabath, President/CEO of the Advocacy & Management Group, which serves as a government affairs advisor to the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey, issued the following statement:

“Yesterday (August 25), the Governor proposed what he wanted the budget to look like from his vantage point. I want to reassure you that this is only the beginning of the budget process. The budget is now in the hands of the Legislature. Between now and the September 30th budget deadline, the Legislature will be negotiating their own budget with the Governor. Legislative leaders have their own budget priorities with the power to add and remove what is in the final budget.

“This is not the time to be discouraged that the $20 million for purse appropriation was not in the proposed budget. We need to keep advocating for our industry. The foundation of our years of advocacy has made it clear to policy makers that our industry is part of the fabric of what makes New Jersey the state it is in the Union.”

To read the complete njonlinegambling.com story, click here.

(USTA)


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