State governments use taxpayer funds
to subsidize race tracks

IN: The backers of a proposed harness track are protesting a recommendation that would give Churchill Downs' Hoosier Park most of a $25 million subsidy from riverboat revenues to boost the state's horse-racing industry. The $25 million subsidy goes toward breeding, promotions, purses and tracks. Hoosier Park received about $10 million from the subsidy last year.
3/23/0 The Courier-Journal

The Illinois horse-racing is basking in a legislative victory that stands to bring the state's racetracks some $45 million a year in government subsidies.
Chicago Tribune November 16, 1999

They won't be seeing it anytime soon, but Illinois racetracks and horse owners each can expect about $10 million a year as their cut of a Cook County riverboat casino.

FL: Tracks got a boost last May, when friendly state lawmakers pushed through a last-minute measure that gave $20 million in tax cuts to the industry.
Times-Union staff writer 2/18/1

Gov. Glendening yesterday pledged $10 million to boost purses at Maryland's horse racing tracks after track owners promised to give up their campaign for slot machines, which were critical to their businesses' survival. At the same time, Glendening has approved a bill that will send $10 million in public funds to help preserve racing - and gambling - at Maryland's tracks.
3/30/99 Washington Post

Maryland will sell bonds to generate $35 million in funding to improve Pimlico & other tracks. Critics say the state is giving free money to De Francis to improve his tracks.
5/18/00 Albuquerque Tribune

Pennsylvania's four horse-racing tracks won a purse in this year's state budget to help them compete against the likes of Delaware and West Virginia, which, unlike Pennsylvania, allow slot machines at racetracks. Track owners and horse breeders would share a one-time appropriation of $10 million to increase purses, enhance the tracks and generally promote racing. 5/17/00

New York is poised to provide at least $250,000 in taxpayer funds to help bail out a financially ailing private racetrack that has been threatened with a $416,000 fine.  April 9, 1998 Capital Newspapers

Oaklawn is lobbying to lower taxes on bets placed at the track, but some say the track's prospects are still uncertain.
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette 3/4/1

After getting legislative help for Washington's ailing horse-racing industry in recent years, the founder of Emerald Downs racetrack says if lawmakers don't give him what he wants this year, he won't be back. Since the track was built in 1995, lawmakers have approved a tax break and an expansion of gambling to help Emerald Downs. For the second year in a row, track executives say that without more help the money-losing Auburn track could go out of business. "We continue to bail out this dying industry, and I think at some point it has to stop," said Sen. Margarita Prentice, D.
Seattle Times Olympia 3/4/98

A bill that would cut the state's privilege tax on pari-mutuel wagering at Oaklawn Park cleared the Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee on Monday.

In 1997, the state regulatory agency forced Prairie casino track and the county to change the terms of their arrangement, cutting the county take from the casino by half
11/16/99 The Des Moines Register

Kansas: Legislation that would allow the operation of slot machines at the state's three pari-mutuel racetracks was approved Thursday by a Senate committee.
The Topeka Capital-Journal 03/09/01