A slice of revenue for the horse racing and breeding industry is included in a controversial resolution approved by the New Jersey Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee Jan. 15. The measure, which calls for two casinos in northern New Jersey, still must clear the full Senate and Assembly and be approved by voters in November.
The resolution, which came about following a compromise among Senate and Assembly leaders, states that no less than 2% of the state's share from the casinos goes to "programs designed to aid the Thoroughbred and Standardbred horsemen in this state."
Meadowlands, which offers harness racing and short, all-turf Thoroughbred meets, is believed to be a desired location for one of the casinos. Operator Jeff Gural last year proposed a casino in partnership with Hard Rock International, but the resolution states existing Atlantic City casinos get first dibs on no less than 51% ownership of each gambling facility.
New Jersey's Thoroughbred foal crop is about half what it was five years ago because of reductions in racing dates and competition from well-funded breeding programs in neighboring states.