FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Tiffany J Cody
Public Relations Specialist
Rutgers Equine Science Center
New Jersey Stands to
Lose $780 Million of Economic Impact Annually if Racing-related Activities
Leave the State
Recent report analyzes the impact of slot machines on the horse
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ (July 28, 2009) – The
Rutgers Equine Science Center recently released an independent in-depth
report of the impact of slot machines or video lottery terminals on the
horse racing and breeding industry, and agriculture and open space. The
study, published by the Hall Institute of Public Policy, is a follow-up to a
2006 white paper written by Dr. Karyn Malinowski, director of the Equine
Science Center at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.
Neighboring states (New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware) offering slot machines
or video lottery terminals at horse racing venues continue to attract
tourism and gaming dollars away from New Jersey. This trend erodes expansion
of the racing industry and could have disastrous consequences for the
state’s economy. The Garden State stands to lose one of its premier
agribusiness which generates $780 million of economic impact annually, 7,000
jobs, $110 million in federal, state and local taxes, and 57,000 acres of
working agricultural landscape and open space if racing-related training and
breeding farms leave New Jersey. These figures do not include the non-racing
segment of the horse industry.
“The intent of the report is to provide an overview of what slot machines or
video lottery terminals have done in states and provinces where they exist,
in order to assist policy decision-makers in New Jersey as they deliberate
racing’s future. Horse racing is the economic driving engine of the entire
horse industry in the state and is extremely valuable to the quality of life
in the form of agricultural working landscape; the horse racing and breeding
industry are commodities worth saving in New Jersey,” says Malinowski.
In 2008, forty-four racetrack casinos (racinos) in the United States
generated $6.19 billion in gross gaming revenues (a 17.2 percent increase
over 2007); $2.59 billion in direct gaming taxes to state and local
governments, and employed over 29,000 people. The racino market experienced
growth, as a whole, even in view of a tough economic climate.
Empire City at Yonkers Raceway in New York was the top racino market in the
United States, grossing $486.46 million in gaming revenue in 2008. Six of
the top ten racetrack casino markets in the nation are located in the
northeast region in close proximity to New Jersey. In 2006, New Jersey led
the nation in total purses paid for harness racing. By 2008, New Jersey
ranked third behind New York and Pennsylvania for total purses paid.
“In 2006, we predicted that as surrounding states incorporate slot machines
and video lottery terminals into their gaming portfolio, the horse racing
industry would not be the only industry impacted, but the entire
casino/gaming industry would feel effects as well,” says Malinowski.
The installation of video lottery terminals at New Jersey racetracks has the
potential to be a “win-win” situation for both the racing and casino
industries. The revenue would enhance the state budget significantly and
provide capital for use by the horse racing industry to keep it competitive.
“Our goal was to provide the newly appointed Governor’s Commission on the
Future of the Horse Racing Industry with a synopsis of what is now known and
to make projections and suggestions on how this timely information will
impact New Jersey,” says Malinowski.
Racinos would add jobs to the state, during construction and renovations of
the racetracks as well as during operation. Video lottery terminals run by
the operators of Atlantic City casinos would help these interests diversify
sources of revenue.
To date, the entire New Jersey equine industry (including racing &
non-racing interests) is valued at $4 billion and generates $1.1 billion
annually in positive impact on the New Jersey economy. The industry also
supports 13,000 jobs and pays an estimated $160 million annually in federal,
state, and local taxes.
For a copy of the full report, please visit the Hall Institute of Public