Purses, Account Wagering Bills on Track in New Jersey

A bill which would appropriate $18 million to purses at New Jersey racetracks is scheduled to go before a Senate committee on Thursday, where it is expected to pass, according to a Barbara DeMarco-Reiche, lobbyist for the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, Inc. The monies would boost purses at the upcoming Monmouth Park meet, as well as the fall Meadowlands meet, to nearly $300,000 per day.

DeMarco-Reiche said that the bill, which was passed by the Assembly in December, would then move on to another Senate committee on Feb. 26, then go to the full Senate for a vote. Its final stop would be in the Assembly for concurrence.

In other New Jersey news, off-track and account wagering legislation was proceeding in a positive fashion, according to DeMarco-Reiche. "Everything's going well at this point," she said.

Horsemen and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which operates Monmouth and Meadowlands, have agreed on 141 days of live racing, the minimum required for the NJSEA to operate future off-track wagering sites. Originally, the NJTHA wanted 170 days of live racing; the NJSEA had pushed for 120.