Newark Star Ledger: Horse Racing Shouldn’t Get Money From Internet Gambling

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
New Jersey Horse Racing


Perhaps horse racing in the state of New Jersey and elsewhere throughout the United States shouldn’t get money from Internet gambling.  The industry does however. 

When the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA) passed in October of 2006, nearly all forms of online gambling were prohibited, with the exception of horse racing. 

In New Jersey, horse racing looks to benefit even further by legalizing all forms of Internet gambling.

This past Monday, a bill passed that would ultimately legalize sports betting and poker within the state’s borders.  

Sen. Raymond Lesniak estimates that 500,000 New Jersey residents who have accounts with online poker sites collectively wager approximately $150 million a year.  11 casinos in the state would get a piece of the action, according to Lesniak.

The Editorial Board of the Newark Star Ledger chimed in:

But why divert this money for a horse-racing bailout? Given the pressing needs of a state that is laying off teachers and cops, and trying to find money to fix decaying roads and bridges, this subsidy can’t be justified.


Horse racing has siphoned more than $200 million in taxpayer money and casino subsidies over the past six years, and while racing supporters promise to make the sport self-sustaining, they don’t set a timeline. Nor do they estimate how much money they’ll need from taxpayers – to pad purses and built off-track wagering sites -- to make that happen.


So, in the meantime, the sport will continue to live off public money that should be directed to more critical needs. For taxpayers, that’s a bad bet.

- Jagajeet Chiba, 

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