NATIONAL GAMBLING IMPACT STUDY COMMISSION
MR. JAMES SANZARO
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: James Sanzaro?
MR. SANZARO: Thank you. On the other side of the tax coin I'm from an industry that probably pays more taxes than any other gaming industry, horse racing, with our add-on license fee taxes.
Madam Chair, Commissioners, I thank you for the opportunity to speak before you to address you today. I certainly wish you strength and courage in the difficult tasks you have ahead of you.
My name is James Sanzaro, Jr., I'm president of the Service Employees International Local 280. I represent the parimutuel clerks in the state of California and all 32 horse racing venues, both day and night thoroughbred, quarter horses and harness racing. I'm proud to wear the H.E.R.E. union tee-shirt today in a show of solidarity.
A lot of my statistics I was going to talk about the economic impact horse racing has in California and I think you heard a great deal of that from Senator Maddy this morning and others on the distinguished panel. One thing they didn't touch on a great deal was the fairs. In 1933 when horse racing was authorized in the California it was for the benefit of the agriculture and the fairs in California.
Today about 11 million people attend the fair every year in the state and that's probably one-third of the population. And about $125 million sales taxes generated about a $1.3 billion impact in California due to fairs. And the fairs are due largely in part due to horse racing revenues.
WE have a California Horse Racing Board that does an excellent job of regulating our sport and ensures that the public gets a fair deal and everyone is protected in the agri-business and breeding is encouraged. I think Senator Maddy said this morning, leave us alone, that would probably be my recommendation.
Certainly one of the most prestigious veterinarian schools in the world, literally, is UC Davis with the equine health program and, of course, post mortem program and then I think that again is due largely in part to horse racing.
I shouldn't have to read this, this is my own thing. I've worked as a parimutuel clerk for 27 years. I guess I was kind of stuck in it, my father started in 1953 and he is still working at the Fantasy Springs Indian Casino as a para-mutual clerk at that site. When he decided to retire to Palm Springs he thought he could probably go out there, still work, and get a game of golf in and I guess he's going to continue to do that until such time as he shoots his score. Today is his birthday, 73.
Between my brother, my, I was married a year ago to my wife and her family and her father was one of the nations, well one of the areas greatest quarter horse trainers, the late G. Jamis (ph). We have over 200 years of horse racing experience, this generation. And we grew up middle class, I think we're upstanding citizens, we do a fine job I think we owe a great deal in part to the horse racing industry.
In closing, many forms of gambling in the United States and I challenge any of them to show that they contribute more economically and socially to their community than horse racing.
Thank you very much.
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Thank you.