A joint statement from New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association President Rick Violette Jr. and New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc. Executive Director Jeffrey Cannizzo, regarding the recently released audit by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, and evaluation from outgoing Division of the Lottery Director Gordon Medenica:
“State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s recent audit paints a false and misleading picture of Thoroughbred racing in New York. The fact is, despite a national economy still immersed in a significant downturn and a national trend that saw handle drop 7% last month, business is booming for New York Thoroughbred racing, and to paint any other picture is disingenuous. Our sport is experiencing a rebirth that has already created more jobs for New Yorkers, more revenue for New York businesses and a stronger economy for New York communities.
“In 2012, all three of the New York Racing Association meets have seen significant increases in wagering. At Aqueduct, total handle was up 22.6% from the previous year. Belmont’s handle increased 13.4% on-track, with total handle up 9.1%. Saratoga’s total handle is up 6.5% midway through the meet.
“That only tells a fraction of the story. After a four-year decline, there was a 39.4% increase in Thoroughbred foals reported in New York through May 2012, and every one of those foals creates jobs. There are new farms in the state, and existing farms are expanding. Owners who have been out of the game for more than a decade are investing once again. There were across-the-board gains at the New York-bred horse sale in Saratoga last weekend. The New York Thoroughbred industry already supports 35,000 New York workers, and that number is on the rise. And we have only had VLT revenue since the beginning of the year.
“Any hint that the revenue stream from VLTs is not stable will only serve to discourage any further growth in New York racing, and could even reverse the significant advancements we have made. With New York’s economy still struggling, the State must stick with what works to create jobs. The smart investment in horse racing is paying off for taxpayers.”