FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 26th, 2011

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
P.O. Box 69060
Harrisburg, PA 17106-9060

CONTACT

Doug Harbach or Richard McGarvey (717) 346-8321

Fourth Annual PGCB Pari-mutuel Wagering Benchmark Report Shows Measureable Successes To Commonwealth's Horse Racing And Horse Breeding Industries

HARRISBURG: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board today released the fourth annual Pari-Mutuel Wagering Benchmark Report which shows a clear positive trend on the impact of slot machine play on the Commonwealth's horse racing industry.

The report draws comparisons on the status of pari-mutuel wagering over the five years since slot machine gaming began including its impact on the various indicators of pari-mutuel health for the years 2006-2010.

Highlights of the report include:

  • The success of slot machine gaming has generated over $200 million in tax revenue during 2010 to stimulate the viability of the horse and harness racing industry and enhance agriculture;
  • Purses earned have increased over 250% from $55.9 million in 2006 to $196.4 million in 2010.
  • The total number of live races in Pennsylvania has increased over 43% from 7,958 in 2006 to 11,423 in 2010;
  • Wagering via simulcast export, both in-state and inter-state, increased by 45% from $497.6 million in 2006 to $700.2 million in 2010; and,
  • The total amount wagered on Pennsylvania racing from all sources has increased over 32% from $580.2 million in 2006 to $769.6 million in 2010.

Gaming Control Board Chairman Greg Fajt says this report, along with earlier figures presented by the Department of Agriculture on the  significant job and revenue growth in Pennsylvania's equine industry,  clearly show that the growing revenue generated by slot machine gaming has a direct impact on farmland preservation and a beneficial trickle-down economic impact on the entire agricultural community.

"There continues to be no doubt that the inclusion of slot machine gaming at our six racetrack facilities is having a very positive effect on both the horse racing industry and agriculture," Gaming Control Board Chairman Greg Fajt says. "Not to be lost is also the creation of new jobs related to the horse racing industry, and the improvement of living and working conditions of racetrack workers."

Figures released by the Department of Agriculture in late 2010 showed a 300% increase in equine industry jobs from the start of the decade to 2008 along with a significant increase in track wagering  before and after slot machines first began operating at racetracks.

PGCB Executive director Kevin O'Toole says while all ten of the operating casinos in Pennsylvania are contributing to the rebirth of the state's horse racing industry through slot machine tax revenue, the six "racinos" have shown a significant commitment to make the casino/racetrack partnership work well.

"There is no doubt that the efforts by our Category 1 licensees to construct and renovate quality racino facilities in Pennsylvania has contributed to the revitalization of our horse racing and horse breeding facilities," O'Toole says.

The full report can be downloaded from a special link on the right hand side under the "Information" section on the homepage of the Gaming Control Board's web site, www.pgcb.state.pa.us.

About the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board was established in 2004 with the passage of Act 71, also known as the Race Horse Development and Gaming Act. Pennsylvania's first new state agency in nearly 40 years, the Gaming Control Board is tasked to oversee all aspects of the state's casino industry. To date, with nine of a maximum fourteen casinos in operation, legalized gaming in the Commonwealth has created over 8,000 new living wage jobs, revenue that has provided property tax reduction in each of the past two years for all homeowners, and funds that have reinvigorated Pennsylvania's horse racing industry. A wealth of information about the Gaming Control Board and Pennsylvania's gaming industry can be found at www.pgcb.state.pa.us. At this web site, videos and information on the operation of the PGCB, problem gambling efforts and assistance, future meeting schedules and past meeting transcripts, and a link to request a speaker are among the many items available.

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