The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Preakness:
High Stakes … for Corporate Subsidies

May 24, 2021

At this year’s Preakness Stakes horse race in Baltimore, Maryland’s governor brunched with corporate executives at a fundraiser for the Republican Governors Association. The usual taxpayer-funded governor’s tent where state politicians traditionally entertain executives from Amazon to AstraZeneca was closed because of the pandemic. But the Stronach family billionaires are galloping along, after receiving their share of the State of Maryland’s whopping subsidy of the horse racing industry.

Last year, state legislators committed to borrow nearly 400 million dollars to pay for a proposed rebuilding of the Pimlico racetrack in Baltimore and the Laurel racetrack in Anne Arundel County, both run by the Stronachs. To repay the principal and interest for 30 years, the state pledged to cut 3.5 million dollars from Baltimore city-funded community programs each year. Another 13.5 million each year will come from revenue from slots machines in Maryland.

In fact, for well over a decade, millions of dollars of slots revenue each year has already paid for supposed reconstruction at those racetracks, which seem to get more rundown the more money is spent to rebuild them! This subsidy has simply let the Stronachs pocket that much more income from horse racing year after year.

Profit is always “first past the post!”