The Massachusetts legislature has approved a measure that would provide $5-million in purse supplements at the state's two horse tracks and two Greyhound tracks. According to the Boston Globe, the legislation redirects to purses money that otherwise go to state coffers.
State racing commission chairman Robert M. Hutchinson Jr. defended the supplements as helping an industry that provides jobs, nearly $10-million annually in corporate and property taxes, and is among the top sellers of lottery tickets, according to the Globe. The newspaper reported that nearly 5,200 employees are on track payrolls.
The Globe reported that some are criticizing the subsidy because the state is making cuts in other areas to help make up for a $1.35 billion shortfall. The newspaper noted that the supplements come at a time when the Greyhound racing industry in Massachusetts is under attack from critics, with a ballot measure to ban that form of racing failing by 2 percentage points on Tuesday.