June 1st, 2012


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


Doug Harbach or Richard McGarvey (717) 346-8321

PGCB Report Provides Details of Slot Machine Revenue On PA's Horse Racing Industry

HARRISBURG: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board today released its fifth annual Racetrack Casino Benchmark Report.  Since its first release in 2008, this annual report has concentrated on the impact that Pennsylvania’s casinos have had on the state’s horse racing industry.

A portion of revenue generated from slot machine gaming is earmarked for the horse racing industry in order to accomplish the intent of the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act as it relates to racetracks.  In 2011, more than $228 million in slot machine tax revenue was generated to enhance purses, assist breeding operations, provide health and pension benefits for horsemen, and improve the agricultural industry in Pennsylvania.

"Revenue from legalized slot machine gaming in Pennsylvania is helping to fulfill the legislative objectives by enhancing horse racing and breeding programs, preserving thousands of jobs and providing a positive impact on the state’s agricultural economy," says Gaming Control Board Chairman William H. Ryan, Jr. "This report underlines specific areas where the impact is tangible and shows that the horse racing industry continues to benefit from the revenue that casinos generate here in Pennsylvania."

Among the findings in this year’s report are that:

  • purses earned increased over 250% between 2006 and 2010 and had an additional increase of approximately 8% from 2010 to 2011;
  • there was an increase in the total number of live races by approximately 45% since slot machine gaming commenced in 2006, though a much smaller increase of just 1% from 2010 to 2011;
  • total dollars wagered on Pennsylvania races in 2011, referred to as the live racing handle, was 19% higher compared to the same time period before gaming commenced in 2006, but showed a decrease of approximately 10% when compared to 2010;
  • the number of thoroughbred foals registered each year with the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association has increased over 29% since 2003;
  • the number of standardbred yearlings whose nominating fee has been paid to participate in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes program has increased by 50% since 2003; and,
  • casinos offering live racing have invested over $38 million on backstretch improvements through the end of 2011.

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,

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. The 11 casinos in operation all offer both slot machine and table game gambling, employ over 16,000 people, and collectively have generated more than $6.5 billion in tax and license fee revenue since the first casino opened in November 2006. A portion of that money has delivered property tax reduction in each of the past 5 years for all Pennsylvania homeowners; provided funding to the Commonwealth's horse racing industry, fire companies, water/sewer projects, and the state’s General Fund; and, established a new stream of tax revenue to local governments for community projects.

A wealth of information about the Gaming Control Board’s regulatory efforts and Pennsylvania’s gaming industry can be found at At this website, visitors can watch Board meetings live or view videos of past meetings, look up future meeting schedules and past meeting transcripts, obtain information on identifying a gambling problem and gaining assistance, access an interactive map of casino locations, request a speaker for their group, along with much more information. You can also follow the agency on Twitter by choosing @PAGamingControl.

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