Governor’s Action Necessary Pending Legislative Resolution on Horse Racing Recommendations

Trenton, NJ – Governor Chris Christie today vetoed the New Jersey Racing Commission’s establishment of a full standardbred and thoroughbred racing schedule for Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands, as the Administration continues its review of recommendations to end annual taxpayer subsidies for the horse racing industry and make it self-sustaining.

The Racing Commission’s action at its November 10 meeting establishing a full race schedule for 2011 conflicts with the primary recommendation contained in a supplemental report under review by the Administration to substantially reduce the number of live racing days at Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands Racetrack for next year.  At the November 10 meeting, the Racing Commission approved a request from the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority to establish the full race meeting schedule for next year.

Governor Christie’s veto is not critical of the Commission or the NJSEA for doing what is currently statutorily required, as the Administration is considering scaled-down race meets among possible solutions for making the horse racing industry self-sustaining. The Governor’s veto was necessary pending a legislative resolution on horse racing recommendations and solutions.

“While the recommendation is being reviewed, it would be inappropriate to approve the NJSEA’s request to race 141 Thoroughbred races dates at Monmouth Park and 141 Standardbred races dates at the Meadowlands Racetrack particularly in light of the taxpayer subsidies required to sustain such a lengthy race calendar,” Governor Christie said in his veto letter, dated today.

“An appropriate solution for the state-owned racetracks, which does not unduly burden the taxpayers of this State, must be reached before a schedule for the 2011 racing season can be approved,” the Governor wrote.