The thing about the hundreds of millions of dollars in corporate welfare flowing to horseracing every year is this: the industry doesn’t even try to hide it. Poll a racing exec in any of the subsidy states – which is to say, most of the racing states – and he’ll tell you directly: if we don’t get it, we don’t survive.
After winning a $20 million annual largess from the state last year, New Jersey horsemen are begging for more. A state assembly bill introduced earlier this month aims to allow New Jersey’s three racetracks to offer live poker games to help pad the purses. Enough already, New Jersey. If this patently nonessential business cannot subsist on its product alone (and it can’t), time to cut it loose. There will be more funds available for education, but of more import (at least to us here), no more horses will be made to suffer and die.