Horse racing shouldn't get money from internet gambling
The Star-Ledger publication in the US state of New Jersey says in an editorial comment that the state's troubled horseracing industry, which has needed $200 million in subsidies from taxpayers and casinos since 2004, shouldn't be given more handouts from internet gambling.
The comment comes amidst recent encouraging moves in the state which has seen a proposal to legalise intra-state online gambling successfully pass through political committees and the Senate and head for debate in the House.
The editorial supports this political initiative, spear-headed by Senator Ray Lesniak, commenting that the state needs new sources of revenue, and quoting estimates that 500,000 New Jersey residents who have accounts with online poker sites collectively wager approximately $150 million a year.
"By allowing the state’s 11 casinos to establish gambling web sites, New Jersey will get a piece of that action," the editorial points out.
"But why divert this money for a horse-racing bailout? Given the pressing needs of a state that is laying off teachers and cops, and trying to find money to fix decaying roads and bridges, this subsidy can’t be justified.
"Horse racing has siphoned more than $200 million in taxpayer money and casino subsidies over the past six years, and while racing supporters promise to make the sport self-sustaining, they don’t set a timeline. Nor do they estimate how much money they’ll need from taxpayers – to pad purses and build off-track wagering sites – to make that happen.
"In the meantime, the sport will continue to live off public money that should be directed to more critical needs. For taxpayers, that’s a bad bet."