Thursday, April 30, 2009


Elmont, NY – The New York Racing Association, Inc. supports a bill that was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on April 28 that would eliminate the automatic 25 percent federal withholding on pari-mutuel winnings of $5,000 or more for bets that carry odds of 300-1 or higher.

The bill, titled the “Pari-Mutuel Conformity and Equality Act” (PACE Act – H.R. 2140) was introduced by Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) with Rep. Charles W. Boustany, Jr. (R-LA) as the co-sponsor.

“NYRA fully supports the newly introduced PACE Act,” said Charles Hayward, President and CEO of The New York Racing Association, Inc. “The current withholding tax is a burden on the betting public and the industry as a whole. We commend Congressmen Yarmuth and Boustany, Jr. for introducing this act.”

The pari-mutuel industry, unlike its competitors in other gaming industries, is affected by a tax law that requires wagering facilities to withhold federal taxes on winnings over $5,000 if the odds are at least 300 times the amount wagered. The PACE Act (H.R. 2140) would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, whose withholding threshold has remained unchanged for 17 years and was last increased in 1992, from $1,000 to $5,000.

"The negative impact of withholding is multi-faceted," said Peggy Hendershot, the NTRA’s Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs, in an NTRA press release. "For the betting public, it has meant a confiscatory and frequently unfair loss of available capital. That loss of reinvestment or ‘churn’ leads to a reduction in overall wagering that in turn means less revenue generated for state governments, racetracks, and purse money for horsemen. The PACE act would also reduce the high burden of administrative compliance for pari-mutuel operators.”

The 64-day Belmont Park Spring/Summer Meet runs April 29 through July 26, with live racing Wednesday through Sunday. On most days, gates open at 11:00 a.m. and first post is at 1:00 p.m. The 141st Running of the Belmont Stakes is on Saturday, June 6. There is no live racing on Mondays or Tuesdays, with the exception of Memorial Day, Monday, May 25. Belmont Park will also be dark on Wednesday, May 27 and Sunday, June 7. Visit for more information.

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