Many are confident that the state’s horse racing industry is on track for a major comeback after struggling to compete for years with out-of-state racetracks that have casino gambling. In addition to wanting to make the industry more competitive, they’re also looking for ways to attract the younger generation.
Optimism comes after Gov. Phil Murphy signed a new law in February which sets aside $100 million over the next five years, or $20 million annually, for the Garden States’ three racetracks, to restore government subsidies for the industry.
The bill includes a clause that releases the Legislature from paying the subsidy if it determines the payments are not substantially improving the industry. In order to keep those millions coming in, all three racetracks will have to complete a reporting process after the first year. Now, just three months after the bill was signed, horse industry executives say they’re already seeing a boost.