The Jockey Club Opposed to off-Course Wagering: New York Tax Committee to Seek Law Making Bookmakers Legal, Daily Racing Form, 1946-06-18


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The Jockey Club Opposed To Off-Course Wagering New York Tax Committee to Seek Law Making Bookmakers Legal NEW YORK, N. Y June 17. Published reports of a concerted movement to legalize off-track betting in New York State prompted "William Woodward, chairman of The Jockey Club, to issue a sattement today in which he set forth the opposition of his organization to this form of wagering. He stated that The Jockey Club is "unalterably opposed to such a plan" and that "it would be very apt to do away with racing entirely." He said that racing is a sport, aid offcourse betting would "change it into little more than a numbers racket." Chairman Woodwards statement follows: "Inquiries have been received from the press and other sources requesting the reaction of The Jockey Club to the publicly proposed amendment to the prai-mutuel bill, which would legalize off-course betting. Because it is certain that such a course would be against the best interests of racing, both as a sport and an industry, The Jockey Club is unalterably opposed to such a plan. "In this, the Jockey Club is consistent with the expressed feeling of racing made public in the past, when similar proposals have been made. The idea of legalized betting at ileensed stores or bookmaking establishments could only lead to excesses and abuses which would imperil the life of racing. Such a plan would increase, at least temporarily, the revnue of racing associations, but, in the long run, it would be very apt to do away with racing entirely. "It would destroy the present Idea of the sport, which is that those who attend the races, watch the horses, make their selections and are permitted to bet within the confines of the course, and change it to little more than a numbers racket. "While racing is an industry, with vast investments and employes in 40 of the states of .the country, it is predicated on sport and anything which tends to destroy that basic fact must inevitably destroy the entire structure. "The Jockey Club must energetically restate its opposition and continue to join with the racing commissions throughout the United States and with the Tohorough-bred Racing Associations of the United States in opposition to a pjan which informed racing people believe would prove fatal to the sport." NEW YORK, N. Y., June 17. The New York committee to tax betting, a group headed by Assemblyman Patrick H. Sul- livan of the Seventh Assembly District, with headquarters at the Hotel Imperial, New York City, has opened a campaign to legalize bookmaking in the state. The committee announced today that it will seek an amendment of the racing law to permit each county to decide through local option elections whether to allow "off-track" betting. The committee states that while New York City is averaging 00,000 daily from the new additional five per cent tax on tracks within the city, it would collect additional revenue of ,000,000 if "off-track" betting were taxed.

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