Horse racing has been a sport enjoyed by millions, since the time of the Olympic Games in Greece, dating back to 700-40 BCE. Being one of the oldest sports, many people and cultures all over the world have experienced this sport in one way or another. Horse racing is an exhilarating sport, one that involves extreme speed and determination. The horses that are chosen for the races are magnificent creatures; often bred for the sole purpose of the sport. Everyone who attends a horse racing event is sure to feel the thrill and excitement in the air.
Most of the horse races in America are funded through subsidies from various casinos and gambling establishments. There are 48 states in which gambling is legal, and out of those, twenty states, almost half of the country, rely on these subsidies to uphold the much beloved tradition of horse racing. These states are as follows: Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
Although horse racing is such a popular sport, there are some states that may need to worry about the source from which they get their funds. Maine and Massachusetts are two of the above listed states that may be getting fewer subsidies from the casinos and gambling operations, and may face the risk of losing the subsidies all together. Many of the local, rather than national, horse tracks and racing groups are especially threatened by this idea. Lawmakers say that they would rather divide a certain amount of the casino revenues and set strict plans as to how and where the money is spent.
The topic of horse racing funds is a very important one, because so much money is passed through this industry. For example, in Maine alone, $8 million was given to the state’s horse racing funds. The subsidies provided by various gambling institutions are vital to uphold the horse racing industries and traditions. On another note, this money is also used to preserve and create thousands upon thousands of jobs, both at farms and tracks. When everything is added up, the benefits of the subsidies are absolutely undeniable. This kind of money, being provided to the horse racing industry, is an incredible source used to boost the economy.
Another argument against the subsidies comes from animal right’s activists. These groups spread awareness of the likelihood of injury for the horses that are used to run multiple races. However, horse owners and breeders are hoping that lawmakers will allow them to spend the subsidy money on things such as a new equestrian center, which is in the best interest of the horses. The racing horses are thoroughly bred and cared for by a team of experts, in most cases. What the animal right’s activists do not realize, is that often, the horses are cared for and treated with a life of luxury, long after their racing career is over. The trainers are responsible, in most cases, for matching up the jockeys to the horses. They ensure that their decisions are beneficial and acceptable depending on each individual jockey and horse.
The training of the race horses if very straightforward: they aim to maintain the horse in excellent condition to run. There are many exercise and feeding strategies in place in order to keep the horses in top shape. The trainers have extensive knowledge of the individual horses, and treat them with the kindness and respect that any animal deserves.
Horse racing has become an American sport with competitions like the Kentucky Derby that gains the attention and respect of the entire nation. The lawmakers desire to take away the subsidies is a complex and intricate matter. This is due to the fact that some race tracks and associations are national, while others are only statewide, and yet others are privately owned. Within that nationwide and state owned horse race affiliations, the government has ownership of tracks, horses, jockeys, and other necessary personnel. While with privately owned and operated horse racing affiliations, where both the trainers and the jockeys are independent contractors. The matter of reducing or eliminating subsidies becomes complicated because not all of the horse races will get the same treatment, depending on their ownership.
Specifically, the subsidies that are given to the horse racing industry come from various casinos, slots parlors, and electronic gambling corporation. Mostly, horse racers and fans alike become upset because they believe that the government has more control over this money than they should. It is widely believed that the horse racing affiliations should be able to do with the subsidies what they please; it is almost looked at as a gift from the gambling corporations. These subsidies should be dispersed to the horse racing affiliations for them to divide it up as needed. Horse racing is a sport that Americans would like to be upheld and continued for years to come. However, without the subsidies that twenty states receive from gambling corporations, the economy would surely drop drastically, leaving these states and horse races in a state of disrepair.
The twenty states that subsidize horse racing with casino money rely wholeheartedly on these subsidies to uphold a very important tradition and sport. These subsidies not only provide for the horse races, but they provide for a method to improve and boost the economy through thousands of jobs as jockeys, racers, breeders, and trainers. These subsidies are greatly needed within these twenty states; the horse racing culture is depending on it.