The events of recent days tells us how racing stands in the food chain of state governments. With the state of Michigan cutting their budget, they are threatening to force Hazel Park and other tracks in the state to cut the number of racing days dramatically; putting racing of all breeds in jeopardy. In the state of Pennsylvania, the legislature is considering allowing additional casinos in the state; this will hurt the income of the racinos.
For those that can't read the tea leafs, let me spell it out for you.
Slot machines are a band-aid not a solution. Whether in this or the next economic crisis, states will do anything to get more revenue. If your local track has slot machines, the time will come where down the street or a couple of counties over there will be a new slot parlor/casino opening up. Your purse supplements are going to be cut. Racing needs to change the game so there is more wagering on racing to make up the future losses in slot revenue.
Horsemen, Breeders and Track Operators need to get together to form PACs and other lobbying groups. State governments are not listening to you now. Money talks. If you want to be working in harness racing five years from now you better give up part of your purse account for lobbying purposes.