Fasig-Tipton’s Humphrey S. Finney Sales Pavillion in Saratoga was the site Thursday for a federal legislative briefing held by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA). NTRA President and CEO Alex Waldrop, along with The Alpine Group principal and CFO Greg Means, discussed several topics impacting the racing industry. The Alpine Group represents both the NTRA and the industry’s lobbying interests in Washington, D.C.
Issues highlighted included Treasury and IRS regulations that modernize federal withholding and reporting of parimutuel winnings, which has resulted in a 90-95% reduction in the filing of IRS Form W-2Gs; the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of December, 2017, which provides incentives to invent in racing and breeding; immigration policy, including the lack of H-2B visas available to the Thoroughbred industry, which has caused a marked labor shortage on the backstretch; and the Supreme Court victory by the Monmouth Park/New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, which moved horse racing wagering from the online realm into the $400 billion business of America’s sports betting industry.
In addition, the briefing also updated the challenges involving exclusions by four of the nation’s largest banks which disallow customers to fund Advance Deposit Wagering (ADW) accounts using their Visa and MasterCard credit cards. In January, JP Morgan Chase began allowing this funding and the NTRA is working with the others to reverse the exclusions. The ADW wagering exclusions may also apply to the wider world of sports betting, leading to multiple banking issues. Additionally, some search engines, including Google, may block ADW wagering. The advent of sports betting looks to drastically change these particular issues.