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.