How New York bankrolls horse racing with billions
Articles and Media Coverage From Animal Defenders of Westchester (ADOW)

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How New York bankrolls horse racing with billions

February 18, 2022

All but three of New York’s horse racing tracks would likely close without subsidies provided by the state, a recent study found

On summer days, thoroughbreds worth tens of thousands of dollars thunder around the track at Saratoga Race Course, competing for jackpot winnings and the triumph of victory.

In the white-and-green grandstands, women in wide-brimmed hats and men in suits cast bets and toss back cocktails. Out on the lawn, veteran enthusiasts beat a path between the tellers and their beach chairs, smacking programs and assessing their odds. At this track, there’s lots of money to be won — and lost.

While nearly every horse racing venue across the country shows visible signs of the sport’s overall financial decline, Saratoga appears to be running as smoothly as ever. That’s because, in New York, there is one key player bankrolling the sport at unprecedented levels: state government.

Horse racing in New York has been propped up by more than $2.9 billion in state taxpayer dollars and government-directed benefits since 2008, a Times Union investigation has uncovered.

The Times Union spent more than six months examining the horse racing industry in New York and beyond, conducting dozens of interviews with key stakeholders, from trainers, owners, scientists, investigators, track operators and lawmakers to advocates who believe the sport is cruel and should be shut down. The newspaper also sifted through court records and reviewed data sets on testing, injuries, equine deaths, taxpayer subsidies, enforcement and more.

That’s more than twice the money New York budgeted for the state Department of Agriculture in the same time period, and 13 times what it spent on veterans’ services.


Please read the ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE (PDF).

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