The New Jersey Charity Racing Days Program were established by law in 1977, as one of the first sources of funds for agencies serving people with developmental disabilities in the community.

5:5-44.2. Charity racing days for the developmentally disabled
Each holder of a permit to hold or conduct horse race meetings shall, with the approval of the New Jersey Racing Commission, be allotted 3 racing days in addition to the days authorized by the New Jersey Racing Commission pursuant to P.L.1940, c. 17 (C. 5:5-22 et seq.); provided, however, that should any permit holder reject the additional days, the commission may allot them among the remaining permit holders, and provided further that the provisions of this section shall not apply where to do so would require the breach of an agreement entered into by the commission. Said additional days shall be known as “Charity Racing Days for the Developmentally Disabled.”

L.1977, c. 200, s. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1977. Amended by L.1983, c. 20, s. 1, eff. Jan. 21, 1983.

Each year, the state Racing Commission designates three days on which all proceeds from state horse racing establishments (not off-track) are dedicated to a fund for people with developmental disabilities.

The law that governs this program designates the NJ Council on Developmental Disabilities as the administrator of the fund. However, the monies in the fund are held by the Racing Commission and distributed each year according to a set allocation formula that takes into account the number of people served by the eligible organizations.

The law establishes which organizations are eligible to receive a share of the funds collected on Charity Racing Days. An eligible organization must be a nonprofit, must have a national affiliate, and must provide services to individuals with developmental disabilities in accordance with the statute.

Each spring, the Council is notified by the Racing Commission of the number of funds that were collected on the three designated Charity Racing Days in the preceding calendar year. The Council receives statistics from eligible organizations, applies the state’s allocation formula, and forwards the results of the calculations to the Racing Commission. The Racing Commission then distributes the funds to the eligible organizations.

If you would like information about this program, please contact the Council at 609-292-0054.