Assembly Gaming Committee OKs bill allowing higher negotiated rates

TRENTON – The Assembly Gaming Committee unanimously released bill A1531, which would allow casino and out-state-racetracks to negotiate higher percentages that a casino may pay a racetrack to simulcast a horserace.

Instead of the current maximum of 3.5 percent and 6 percent, the maximum rates would rise to 6 percent and 9 percent respectively.

Existing law limits the amount a casino may pay an out-of-state racetrack for transmission of a simulcast horse race to no more than 3.5% of the betting pool on each race or, in the case of not more than 28 races per calendar year and for races run annually at the Breeders’ Cup World Cup Championships, 6% of the betting pool on each race.  This bill would allow a casino and an out-of-state racetrack, instead, to negotiate a higher percentage.  Under the bill, the rate would increase from 3.5% to 6%, or from 6% to 9%, as appropriate. 

The bill would also allow the casino licensees to retain 55% of certain remaining takeout rate amounts.

Barbara Demarco of Atlantic City Racecourse opposed the bill, saying it would result in less money for the industry, between $200,000 and $300,000 less money per year. She said it further hurts an already-struggling industry.

“I don’t see any positives for racing in this bill,” she said.

Assembly Gaming Committee OKs bill allowing higher negotiated rates