Racing industry executives in New York State, where Thoroughbred racing has been under fire from animal rights activists and some state legislators, said their industry is safe, has improved the welfare of current and retired racehorses, and that lawmakers should block to steer video lottery casino proceeds away from track-related interests to education and social needs of the state.
At a hearing with a broadly stated agenda concerning the state of the horse racing industry in New York, Assembly Racing Committee Chairman Gary Pretlow, a Westchester County Democrat, invited key stakeholders to Albany to listen to various concerns less than a month before the state Legislature commences its 2022 session.
The hearing comes after legislation was introduced in the Assembly proposing to re-direct $230 million in annual payments from racetrack-based video lottery terminal casino proceeds away from the horse industry—for such things as purses—to help pay for other programs, such as public education. The legislation by Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, a Manhattan Democrat, was introduced on Nov. 17, but it has not yet been picked up in the state Senate.
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