Bipartisan legislation sponsored by New Jersey Assemblyman Ron Dancer (R-Ocean, Burlington, Middlesex and Monmouth) that allows harness racing permitholders and the standardbred racing and horse-breeding industry to jointly decide how to utilize a portion of their racing purses in order to promote the racing industry was unanimously approved by the Assembly on Monday.
The bill, A-3489, allows permitholders and the Standardbred Breeders' and Owners' Association to enter into contractual agreements that allocate funds to help promote and enhance New Jersey's standardbred racing and breeders industry. The amount of the racing purses, which is specified by statute, would not be affected. Also, any agreement would not be permitted to reduce the statutorily dedicated funds for programs designed to aid the horsemen and the Standardbred Breeders' and Owners' Association or for the administration of a health benefits program for the horsemen.
"Racetrack permitholders and the Standardbred Breeders' and Owners' Association have a shared interest in ensuring the success of horse racing in New Jersey,” said Dancer, who has sponsored many pieces of bipartisan legislation designed to help make horse racing sustainable in the state. "This bill provides an opportunity to preserve and enhance the sport of horse racing and will lead to greater fan interest and wagering. The contractual requirement provision that stipulates both sides must agree as to the means of how this goal will be achieved is an important component of the bill.
"We are in a new era of horse racing in New Jersey. We are fortunate to have creative and talented private sector business people who love racing and believe it is viable in our state,” continued Dancer. "Giving them the flexibility to combine their skills in order to promote this sport is a sound strategy.”
Dancer's legislation is also sponsored by Assemblymen John Burzichelli and Ralph Caputo and Assemblywoman Connie Wagner. (New Jersey Assembly Republicans)