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Atlantic City Casinos Move to End Racing Subsidies

Casino interests in New Jersey are looking for cost-cutting measures to offset the plunging income of Atlantic City gaming venues, and the state's horse-racing subsidy is a prime target.

Play Now at Slots Oasis! The policy of state casinos supporting the horse racing industry in New Jersey may be coming to an end. The astonishing plummet in business for Atlantic City gambling venues has caused lawmakers to examine the subsidy and question its necessity.

The race track subsidy comes to $30 million annually, and, with the existing casinos struggling to avoid bankruptcy, state Senator Jim Whelan has proposed ending the artificial support for horse racing.

"If there’s no demand for a product, why should we as an industry and as a society feel obligated to prop it up?" asked Whelan at the East Coast Gaming Congress. His position was supported by Senate President Stephen Sweeney.

"Race tracks have to be able to stand on their own," Sweeney added. "I don’t think casinos should be spending $30 million on horse racing. They should be spending it on promoting casinos."

The subsidy is granted to tracks in return for allowing the casinos exclusivity for slot machine gambling. Track operators say if the subsidy is removed, they want to place slots at the tracks.

According to figures from Rutgers, horse racing in New Jersey is responsible for 2500 jobs and roughly $31 million in government revenue.

Published on May 31, 2010 by EdBradley

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