May 18th, 2008


Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
Commonwealth Tower, Strawberry Square
303 Walnut Street, 5th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17101


Doug Harbach or Richard McGarvey (717) 346-8321

PA Gaming Control Board Supports Efforts To Improve Horse Health And Welfare

HARRISBURG, PA: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board this week approved a resolution which supports efforts to invest in horse health and welfare.

Commissioner Gary Sojka introduced the resolution and encouraged its passage as a way of showing the Board’s support for equine health as a result of recent high-profile catastrophic injuries to thoroughbred racehorses.

"Pennsylvania’s horse racing industry has made tremendous progress since the introduction of slots gaming," Sojka said. "With the passage of this resolution, the Gaming Control Board has pledged its commitment to work with industry stakeholders to help prevent life-threatening injuries to our equine athletes and to ensure the long-term success of racing."

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.

The PGCB’s Office of Racetrack Gaming worked closely with the Department of Agriculture and the Horse and Harness Racing Commissions to develop the resolution. A representative from the horse racing industry will attend an upcoming Board meeting to discuss equine health.

"Pennsylvania is fortunate to have world-class veterinarians, researchers and research facilities dedicated to equine health and safety," said Sojka. "The Board will continue to work with the horse racing industry to keep Pennsylvania at the forefront of equine health and safety issues."

Pennsylvania is home to three thoroughbred racetracks – Penn National in Grantville, Philadelphia Park in Bensalem and Presque Isle Downs in Erie – and three harness racing tracks – The Meadows in Washington County, Harrah’s Chester in Delaware County and Pocono Downs in Wilkes-Barre. A fourth harness track, Valley View Downs in Lawrence County, is scheduled to open in the summer of 2009.


DOC PGCB Resolution PGCB-2008-4-RG