Online Horse Wagering to Provide Lifeline for Dwindling Industry

Online Horse Wagering to Provide Lifeline for Dwindling Industry

  • New Mexico residents are prohibited by law from placing wagers at any of the state’s racetracks, but nothing prevents them from wagering in neighboring Texas or California and depriving track owners and horse breeders of revenue, horse racing industry representatives told a legislative committee this week.
  • The horse racing industry is losing heavily due to competition from online sports betting.
  • Due to outmoded sports wagering legislation, horse racetracks and breeders are losing money.

 

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New Mexico Horse Racing

Bring New Mexico out of the Dark Age

According to the Associated Press, those who testified before the New Mexico Legislature’s Economic Development and Policy Committee urged lawmakers to loosen restrictions on online betting for racetracks in order to give the industry, which faces intense competition for gamblers’ attention in the state and elsewhere, a breath of fresh air.

There are no more golden eggs for horse racing, said Izzy Trejo, executive director of the New Mexico Racing Commission, explaining that the industry is picking up to try to complete the cookie with sports wagering, online wagering, and advance deposit wagering as the days when tracks relied solely on fans placing wagers in person and later via simulcast races are long gone.

Trejo was adamant that legislators should do whatever is necessary to bring New Mexico “out of the dark ages.” He cited data from New York, where more than 90 percent of sports wagering was conducted via a mobile device, and Pennsylvania, where the proportion of bettors using the mobile channel is even higher.

Dwindling Spend on Feed, Fuel, Wages

According to official data, the lost revenue had a negative influence on the business and led to a decrease in overall spending on feed, fuel, and labor of roughly 25 percent, with the decline being more pronounced in New Mexico, where the number of races and horses being bred is decreasing.

David Dixon, an economics professor at the University of New Mexico, presented lawmakers with data supporting the industry’s 10-year drop, which had a $677 million economic impact in 2016. 

In addition, he maintained that the true economic impact is the money spent by horse owners and racetracks on feed, fuel, veterinarian services, supplies, and labor, despite the fact that fewer horses were being born and less races were being held not only in New Mexico but also across the country.

Tom Goncharoff, president of the New Mexico Horse Breeders Association, highlighted the record-setting increases in horse auction values over the previous two years and emphasized that the demand for quality horses is positive for horse breeders. 

He also highlighted that the state’s sports betting legislation is behind those of its neighbors. Rep. Antonio Maestas, chairman of the committee, announced that lawmakers will commence discussions with tribal leaders to address sections of the compacts that require updating.

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About Lou De Aguila

Lou Ramon Aguila is a contributor for Golden Casino News. He has a degree in BSBA Legal Management with great interest in high-profile legal cases involving sports personalities. An ultimate sports junkie, he covers just about everything in the sporting world with an emphasis on the NBA, NFL, and MLB. In his past time, Lou loves to read manga, watch anime and critique pro-wrestling matches.