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WHEREAS, currently the racing industry receives $86 million in supplemental funds directly from the casino industry to enhance the purses awarded and breeding incentives, and this supplemental funding source is scheduled to end in 2007;

WHEREAS, there are no other funding sources, appropriations or legislation introduced to address purse viability and to ensure a strong and stable racing industry; and

WHEREAS, our neighbors, including New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Ontario, Canada currently provide for the use of slot machines or video lottery terminals (VLTs) in connection with the racing industry, or have passed legislation permitting the use of either slot machines or VLTs;

, slot machines return approximately $350 per day total income, whereas VLT’s return only approximately $150 per day in total income; and

, patrons of New Jersey’s three racetracks are rapidly exiting the State in order to take advantage of the slot machines and VLTs that are available in neighboring states in addition to the traditional raceway wagers; and

WHEREAS, the loss of patrons has a direct effect on the racing industry, resulting in a reduction in the amount of wagers placed at New Jersey racetracks, thereby causing miniscule purse awards;

WHEREAS, higher purse awards made possible by slot machines and VLTs in neighboring states encourage racing participants to move to those states, putting New Jersey’s racing and breeding operations at a competitive disadvantage; and

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that we, the delegates to the 91st State Agricultural Convention, assembled in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on February 8, 2006 urge the New Jersey Legislature to establish a permanent funding source, preferably through the addition of slot machines at racetracks, to support the purse structure and breeding incentives. Slot machines are preferred due to their higher return as compared to VLTs.