01/11/2011 2:09PM

New Jersey approves $30 million subsidy for racing over three years


The New Jersey Senate and Assembly passed legislation on Monday that would direct $30 million over the next three years from a state casino fund to the New Jersey Racing Commission, according to reports.

The legislation, which has been sent to Gov. Chris Christie, would reportedly be distributed to racetracks and horsemen by the commission, though it was unclear on Tuesday how those distributions would be allocated. Officials for the commission and the state’s horsemen did not immediately return phone calls on Tuesday.

Under the legislation, the commission would receive $15 million from the state’s Casino Redevelopment Authority in 2011, then $10 million in 2012, and $5 million in 2013.

Under a five-year agreement with casinos in Atlantic City that expired in 2010, the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which owns and operates Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands, received $90 million in subsidies for purses and its operations. Racing lobbyists have been seeking similar subsidies to support the industry over the past several months.

Although the state racing commission approved 141 live Thoroughbred racing dates at Monmouth Park in 2011 during a meeting in December, the racing schedule is expected to be amended if and when a handful of bills affecting the racing and casino industries are passed by the current legislature and approved by Christie.