WHEREAS The Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act of 2004 is delivering on its promise of strengthening the Commonwealth’s horse and harness racing industries. To date, slot machine gaming has generated more than $190 million for purses, breeder and sire stakes awards and health and pension benefits for horsemen, their families and employees; and

WHEREAS The Gaming Control Board, through its Director of Racetrack Gaming, works closely with the racing industry and the Horse and Harness Racing Commissions to ensure the Gaming Act’s provisions related to racing are followed; and

WHEREAS The Board applauds the recent action by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, the Horse and Harness Racing Commissions and Governor Rendell to protect the equine athlete by banning anabolic steroids in racing; and

WHEREAS Catastrophic injuries to horses on the national stage, including 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro and the filly Eight Belles in this year’s Derby, have focused attention on the need for a comprehensive examination of every facet of equine health, ranging from breeding practices to medication; and

WHEREAS Racetracks located at Philadelphia Park, Penn National, Presque Isle Downs, Mohegan Sun, Harrah’s Chester, The Meadows and the future Valley View Downs represent an important economic engine in Pennsylvania. Together, they produce an annual economic impact in the hundreds of millions of dollars; and

WHEREAS Funding for horse health and welfare is a worthwhile investment in the future of an important industry; and Pennsylvania is home to outstanding equine researchers and facilities; and

WHEREAS The Board recognizes it does not have regulatory oversight in the area of horse health and safety, but nevertheless offers its support and cooperation to the Horse and Harness Racing Commissions, the Department of Agriculture, horsemen, breeders, and all other stakeholders who are committed to the health and welfare of the equine athlete; now therefore be it

RESOLVED That the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board supports efforts to invest in horse health and welfare to prevent and manage life-threatening athletic injuries, prevent economic loss, ensure the integrity of racing, improve the health of the industry, increase the longevity of competing and breeding horses, and maintain the strength of the gene pool.

Upon Motion duly made and seconded, the foregoing Resolution was adopted on May 15, 2008.

Paul Resch
Board Secretary