Karcher Bill To Push Interstate Racing Compact Approved By Senate

Bill Would Streamline Horse Racing License Process, Promote Shared Services by States

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Ellen Karcher which would enroll New Jersey in a multi-state agreement to streamline the licensing process for horse racing participants was approved by the Senate today by a vote of 38-0.

“Horse racing in New Jersey is a multimillion dollar industry that draws thousands of race fans to tracks like Monmouth Park during the height of the season,” said Senator Karcher, D-Monmouth and Mercer. “We have a proud tradition in the racing world, and we must maintain our competitive edge to bring in the biggest purses and the best races. This legislation will allow us to be on a level playing field with other states, and ensure that our horse racing professionals are not locked out of other markets because of incompatible licensing requirements.”

The bill, S-834, would enact the Interstate Compact for Horse Racing Licensees, a multi-state agreement designed to streamline and centralize horse racing licenses and criminal background checks of participants. Under the licensing compact, a committee of participating States would establish uniform licensing requirements and would allow horse racing participants to apply for one license, which is valid in all member States. Currently, eleven states are members of the Interstate Compact, including Washington, California, Arizona, Nebraska, Louisiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Florida, Virginia, Delaware and New York.

“Through this legislation, we will gain access in the expanded licensing resources of a multi-state agency, but we would retain our authority over New Jersey’s programs,” said Senator Karcher. “This measure gives us the best of all worlds, with racing teams being able to compete in States that accept the Compact, and New Jersey maintaining the oversight we need to ensure the fairness of the sport.”

The bill now heads to the Assembly for consideration.

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