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Harness racing is a form of spot or entertainment where the horses, mainly standard bred are harnessed to light weight sulkies. The sulkies which are kind of vehicles are bodiless and only have one seat. This kind of racing employs majority of the people, creating 7000 jobs in levels such as harness trainers, horse-men and drivers. The decision to close this sport has been ill advised by administrators who know little about the earned income that is generated through this industry. By the time the race got into New Jersey in 1981, it has recorded a return of 6 million dollars in every gambling. This translates to a high income for the government and better lives for the society. Furthermore, this sport is the economic engine besides agriculture, generating $780 million annually.
The effects of closing down the harness racing will be felt mostly by agricultural supplies, veterinarians, farries and trainers. Reason behind closing it down is that the park no longer breaks even. Though it is attractive for any outside buyer, it has no real financial incentive for the owners to race their own horses. The government should calculate the risk it is undertaking as it will only save $13 million annually, the amount it pays in subsidies to the Meadowlands racetrack. There is a very big shortsightedness for the government as the unemployed would now have to rely on the government through unemployment insurance. This calculates to a stunning figure of $13,000 per unemployed worker which adds up to $65 million in payout to the 5000 or more laid workers. This figure is quite large as the laid workers will no longer pay any income tax; the local economies will lose their economic activities and this have a negative ripple effect to the overall financial health of the region as a whole. Though having been givena stiff competition, it should be realized that the completion has taken up installing slot machines which has enhanced the rivals business (Pines, 2007).
A solution to keeping the sport going depends mainly on the government and also the locals. The government could give alternative funding as the Standard Breeders and Owners association of New Jersey have no way of funding by itself. Monmouth could also try and host the thoroughbred racing and the standard bred dates throughout the year. And finally, a private entity could buy and preferably convert a part of the state's standard bred farms mile track for commercial use. The government could also bring in slot machines to the races. This could bring about a tickle down effect in increase of employees, more purchase of goods and supplies. This will not only revive the horse industry but also will keep the horsemen from selling their land to developers hence preserving the agriculture business and the open lands. It actually makes a more economical sense to hang onto the farms for the sake of the future generation rather than selling off.
There could be a win-win situation were the government to sell the racetrack to the Atlantic City Casino Industry. The government would give a certain percentage of stock to every Atlantic Casino proportional to its gambling revenue. Though the retrofitting of this kind would be expensive, the potential returns are immense. Additional off-track wagering parlors that would bring an estimated $8 million annually could be brought in though with privatization which holds a very major key in returning the sport back to business. There is a lot of potential if the grandstand food and services were to change with also an upgrade of technology. With the ongoing cases of global warrming, it will be a hard hit on the government as the racing tracks which amount to almost 57,000 acres are of a greenery site. The horse racing sport also acts tourism attractive thus generating an income to the government and also the people that are directly affected by the industry (Ionno, 2002).
Monmouth which is located in New Jersey attracts people who attend for the atmosphere and experience and the charm of an industrial park. With the addition to jobs, increased tax revenues and earning potential, the harness racings are a very good relation between states, business owners and economy. Having the harness track racing going might also have a good physiological effects as it offers fun, excitement and a good time. The harness racing is seen as a major backbone and thus closing down of this industry in New Jersey will have negative effects in millions of dollars. Other ways of trying to save the harness racing industry will be by having people come together with the same cause in order to table their desire to have the business running together. The government should also think of how to revive the economy to the locals that will be greatly affected if the industry is to come to a closure (Finch, 2010).
Majority of the people of New Jersey have cushioned themselves based on this industry and the effects will hit them very hard. The government should also look into the expenses they will incur as the centre of this business is centrally located near major high ways. The horsemen association should also sit down and think of reopening the agreement with the gaming industry. Overall, the closure of the harness business will bring a lot of changes both positive and negative and it thus requires a lot of consideration before the government goes ahead with the plan of shutting it down.