‘A Pot Of Money Just Sitting There’: MA Senate Plans To Use Money From Race Horse Development Fund In 2018 Budget

by | 05.18.2017 | 11:31am
Suffolk Downs

In 2011, the Massachusetts legislature set up the Horse Race Development Fund, an account started to help get the horse racing industry “back on its feet” after years of struggling with declining attendance at tracks, etc.

The fund currently has about $15.5 million in its coffers, and it continues to grow thanks to casino revenue. As live racing continues to struggle in the state – Suffolk Downs will conduct just a limited number of live dates; the track recently was sold to a real estate development company – lawmakers are eyeing those funds to help out elsewhere in the state budget.

According to an article in the Lowell Sun, the Massachusetts Senate has added a provision to its 2018 budget proposal that would transfer $15 million from the Race Horse Development Fund and move it into the General Fund by June 30, 2018. Those funds would then be spent on other programs.

“When you have a pot of money just sitting there, it doesn't sit around for long,” Sen. Anne Gobi said about the Race Horse Development Fund. “A lot of people will have other ideas for what that money could be spent on.”

Read more in the Lowell Sun

  • DanM

    Harness Racing has benefited from the fund. I expect that most of the $15 Million will be diverted, but a smaller version of the fund will survive to provide purse money at Plainridge.

    Thoroughbred racing in Massachusetts, however, is probably dead.

    • Frankie Morgan

      It’s not dead yet 8,00 come back to 6 day meet

      • eddie Smith

        6 days are not a race meet. 6 days are an embarrassment!!!!

  • john

    Very sad….the Mass Cap was a classic and there should be racing in the Boston area. You have the population to support it!!!!!!!!

  • Richard C

    Career politicians claw at “free” and “found” money like a pack of hungry wolves.

  • Jackmw

    Their are several parties to fault here, most notably the spineless MGC which should/could have denied simulcasting & ADW to SD absent a full live meet of 100-150 days in 2015. The HBPA is also culpable in that they have been stringing everyone along while they collect fees from SD with talk of an equine creation which is unfeasible at best and generally unrealistic. The rival group of horsemen, although apparently sincere & honest in attempting to restore a complete meet in Mass, have made a series of mis-calculated judgments in their negotiations with entities that may or may not have the best interests of the industry as a focal point. Finally the folks on Beacon Hill see these accruing RHDF monies as as reservoir for enrichment for other state-funded programs which also need support. These factors are all combining to make the perfect storm which will lead to the termination of thoroughbred racing in the Commonwealth!

  • Mr J

    Ma. pols are the most crooked in the country.Tjat money will directly or indirectly go right into their pockets

  • Larry Raymond

    We could only fault the HBPA for the loss of the fund, they kept stringing everyone along for a

    horse park that is way out of reach and frankly it is imaginary, Fantasy Island if you remember that show , HBPA collaborated with Suffolk to be funded with fraction of the simulcast money, abandoning the horsemen and TB racing and also killing farms and breeders, they were able to change the racing days law and simulcast law for one reason only, and that is to accommodate Suffolk and themselves, shame on their board member and everyone in that organization.

  • Sondra l Fabiano

    Everyone in this state should be outraged at this political move! This fund was suppose to be used to help the horse industry in the state of MA and create jobs. The Gaming legislation in MA was written with the main goal in mind to create jobs. Now they are stealing money from the fund before a master plan could even be put in place. Typical of MA politics. This is why this state can never create meaningful programs because they create programs and never fund them. I bet the legislators voting to move the money out of the horse race development fund voted against the casinos in the first place and now are jumping on the pile of money.

  • Gene’s Vision

    If there were racing in Brockton last year some of that money would have used instead of “just sitting there” waiting to be plucked.

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