Jeff Gural, owner of New Jersey’s Meadowlands, on the failure of horse racing to attract millennials
It doesn’t appeal to them the racing subsidies toward other uses.
“What’s more likely taking place in other states is that the politicians are looking at the amount of money that’s going from slot machines to support the racing industry and saying, ‘Gee, we can’t pay our teachers enough money and we don’t have money to build hospitals, but we’re giving all this money to the racing industry.
Let’s take some of this money away from the racing industry and use it for things we think are more important,’” he says.
“That’s starting to happen in some of these states a little bit at a time, and it’s probably going to happen more and more.”
Even for proponents, the option to decouple is more of a necessary evil than a comprehensive solution,
As it would allow for a gradual rationalization of the industry that would be much less painful than an outright implosion.
Sutor says having the option to decouple would help to ease Dover Downs’ current woes, though he believes it’s unlikely much of the subsidy money would ultimately end up back in his hands.
It doesn’t appeal to them “To assume that money would go to the casino is not a good assumption, but if we can stop losing money running these 10-12 races a night, that helps us.”
“Decoupling is something that’s going to be an absolute necessity, and it’s going to happen whether people like it or not.
If it just collapses then you have a catastrophic problem,” says Adkins, emphasizing that the alternative to decoupling will be more bizarre instances of operators gaming the system.
It doesn’t appeal to themV “You have archaic laws that say, ‘OK, you have nobody in your grandstand, but you still have to run dogs.’
What do you have happen then? Then you end up looking at the loopholes like barrel racing, and then I take three Chihuahuas and I run them a 40-foot sprint down the track and say that’s a race.”
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