New Jesey Senate Unanimously Approves Purse Subsidy Bill

The New Jersey state Senate passed a bill that would guarantee a five-year, $10 million annual purse subsidy for Monmouth Park by a 40-0 vote Monday. The vote came one week after the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee approved the bill by a vote of 13-0 and sets it up for a vote in the State Assembly in early January. Should the bill pass the Assembly, Governor Phil Murphy would need to approve it before it becomes law.

Beginning in 2019, Bill 2992 would appropriate $20 million per year out of the state’s general fund to be divided equally between the state’s Thoroughbred and Standardbred industries. Because Monmouth Park is the only operating Thoroughbred racetrack in the state, 100% of the Thoroughbred industry’s allotment would be dedicated toward overnight purses at the Oceanport oval.

The subsidy would presumably provide a much-needed boost to the racing industry in the state, which has struggled to stay afloat in the years since Governor Chris Christie eliminated a $17 million annual purse supplement funded by Atlantic City casinos in 2011.