New Poll: 83% of PA Residents Want Racing Subsidies to End

As I’ve previously written, the massive subsidization (corporate welfare) of the U.S. horseracing industry constitutes a triple wrong: it’s an affront to our free-market system; it cheats schoolchildren out of millions of desperately-needed education dollars; and most important to us here, it allows for the continued abuse and killing of intelligent, sensitive, beautiful creatures. Not surprisingly, I’m not alone on this.

A piece Tuesday on Pennsylvania subsidies ($240 million annually) in the Pennsylvania Capital-Star begins thus:

Whether it’s for funding students at Pennsylvania’s 14 state-owned universities or another purpose, the majority of registered voters in Pennsylvania believe tax revenue from slot machines in the commonwealth should be reallocated away from the horse racing industry, according to a new poll. 

Eighty-three percent of respondents to the June 7 poll by the Center for Opinion Research at Franklin & Marshall College said they believe that the state should use tax revenue generated from slot machines for other purposes. Another 10 percent of respondents said it should continue to support the horseracing industry, and seven percent said they did not know.

“There is clearly little appetite for taxpayer-funded horse racing,” Susan Spicka, executive director of Education Voters of Pennsylvania, which advocates for quality public education in the commonwealth, said in a statement. “With so many other more pressing needs it’s hard to justify continuing this program.”

We and our petition were also mentioned:

The moral and ethical concerns around horse racing led one national organization to target the industry in May, at the height of derby season, with an online petition calling for Gov. Tom Wolf to end the $239 million in subsidies the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development Trust Fund receives. The petition circulated by Horseracing Wrongs, a nonprofit organization advocating for the eradication of horse racing in the United States, had garnered nearly 40,000 signatures as of noon on Monday.

our PA petition

full Capital-Star article

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  1. Bravo to Patrick, HRW, Susan Spika and all others who have contributed, in some way, to this petition.
    What I found very interesting is the fact that 71% of PA taxpayers knew “nothing at all” about 239 million going to horse racing.
    This clearly shows that the “horsemen groups,” while cutting back room highly secretive deals with politicians, have kept PA taxpayers mostly in the dark about it.
    Also, aside from the obvious 3 points made in this post (moral/ethical, waste of public funds, reallocate) there is a dark under belly highly organized crime and corruption element to this entire killing business.
    Scandal after scandal including court cases, charges and confirmation of serious criminal activity.
    This funding fuels illegal crime activity just like the drug trade and it needs to stop.
    It’s a nefarious business with the racehorses paying every step of the way.
    Horse racing is an antiquated business model that has no place in our society.

  2. Horseracing is one form of Animal Cruelty. It involves egregious abuse of horses leading to the death of horses. Our government should be punishing these heinous acts of cruelty. It is so wrong that our government is subsidizing Animal Cruelty!!!
    Thank you to everyone who has worked toward the end of corporate welfare to horseracing! I am waiting for the subsidies to be STOPPED in Pennsylvania. It looks like there is a real chance to end the subsidies, but one cannot take anything for granted in this crazy mixed up world of ideologies where greed and corruption are rewarded.

  3. My relative has lived in California from the 1960’s and had no idea taxes go to support race tracks. I told her to spread the word amongst her friends and colleagues as the monies sure could use distribution to more important issues.

  4. Wow! This is Good (Great?) News! Thank You Patrick, Nicole and the entire Horseracing Wrongs team. Public opinion is a huge thing and lets continue educating voters in Pennsylvania. Hopefully later polls will produce similar (and higher) numbers in our favor. Sorry in the Horses Favor. If subsidies end , other states soon to follow!

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