With states constantly looking to close budget gaps, racetracks that depend on funds derived from casino gambling are increasingly nervous that lawmakers could raid their purse accounts. A recent bill introduced in New York, for instance, proposes redirecting legally protected video lottery terminal payments to more popular needs like public schools, agricultural grants, human services, and workforce protections.
A Dec. 8 afternoon panel at the University of Arizona's Race Track Industry Program's Global Symposium on Racing, termed "The Decoupling Debate," addressed strategies for combating such efforts, with education and lobbying emerging as the key strategies.
Moderator Doug Reed, the racetrack business consultant and former director of the RTIP, stressed the need to understand racing's opponents, who will typically argue that so-called subsidies to racing have not realized the intended impact.
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