Workers’ comp rebates in place for New York horsemen

Posted: May 31, 2019

The New York Jockey Injury Compensation Fund May 31 announced a plan that will further decrease the cost of workers’ compensation insurance for horsemen in New York.

Working with the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and the New York Racing Association, the NYJICF received approval from the New York State Gaming Commission to reduce the initial base payment for all NYRA owners and trainers from $1,250 to $1,000, a 33% drop from the 2018 assessment. In addition, the NYJICF will cover the per-stall fee of $1.60 per day for each trainer’s first 12 stalls from June 1 through Nov. 30, 2019, a savings of $3,513.60.

The base payment decrease is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2019. Owners and trainers who have already submitted the payment will receive a $250 refund.

The reductions were made possible by legislation that allows the JICF to take up to $2 million from the excess NYRA purse cushion to offset the high cost of workers’ compensation in the state.

“We appreciate the support and assistance of Gov. Cuomo and the chairs of our Racing and Wagering Committees, Sen. Addabbo and Assemblyman Pretlow, in finding additional avenues to reduce the cost of doing business in New York for our horsemen,” NYTHA President Joe Appelbaum said. “New York offers the very best racing in the country. By creating a more business-friendly environment, we can draw more horsemen to our tracks and make our racing product even stronger.”

“When industry stakeholders work together with our legislators and our regulators, we can find solutions to the tough problems we face,” NYRA Chief Executive Officer and President David O’Rourke said. “This is another example of the progress we can make when we have good communication and common goals.”

Appelbaum emphasized an ongoing commitment to driving down the cost of workers’ compensation even further.

“Using the excess purse cushion to help our horsemen is a short-term strategy,” he said. “For the long-term, we will continue to improve our already enviable safety record and to explore alternate forms of insurance. That is where the biggest savings will be realized.”