Governor signs Dancer bill helping NJ horse tracks

Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Ron Dancer allowing New Jersey thoroughbred tracks to better compete with out-of-state venues.

Under the new law, the number of annual thoroughbred live racing dates together at Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands Racetrack shall be no fewer than 50 days, provided that the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association grants written consent.

The new law lowers the minimum number of to 50 from 71 as mutually agreed upon by the racetrack operator and the horsemen’s association.

“Racetracks depend on trainers to bring their horses and the incentive for the trainers is the amount of prize or purse money being offered by the racetrack for the races,” said Dancer (R-Monmouth). “In other states, tracks benefiting from additional gaming revenue, such as slots and casinos, are offering higher purses. By providing the racetrack operator and the horsemen’s association with greater flexibility and options to adjust the number of racing days, tracks can increase purse money for the trainers and revenue for the racetrack.”

New Jersey’s primary thoroughbred racetrack is Monmouth Park.

“Competition from neighboring states that are supplementing the purse money at racetracks with revenue from slots and casinos has placed the New Jersey horse racing industry at a significant disadvantage and the industry needs help to level the playing field,” said Dancer. “We’re giving the industry another tool and option to remain competitive.”