Annual Report On Casino Gaming’s Impact On PA’s Horse Racing Industry Released By the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
HARRISBURG: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board today released the Annual Racetrack Casino Benchmark Report detailing the impact of Pennsylvania casinos on the Commonwealth’s horse racing industry. The report is now available for download from the PGCB’s web site https://gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov.
The report includes and compares information from calendar year 2019. Among the report’s findings is that tax revenue generated by the play of slot machines amounted to $238 million which was earmarked for enhancing purses, assisting breeding operations, providing health and pension benefits for horsemen, and supporting agricultural initiatives.
The report also shows that casinos that have racetracks continue to invest in backstretch improvements. Since 2006, operators have spent over $74.5 million to build or renovate buildings and structures.
The horse racing tracks operating in conjunction with casinos in Pennsylvania are:
· Parx Casino in Bucks County
· Presque Isle Downs & Casino in Erie County
· Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Dauphin County
· The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Luzerne County
· The Meadows Casino and Racetrack in Washington County
· Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack in Delaware County
Additionally, the report and its accompanying detailed statistical summary, provides a 5-year historical summary on:
- A breakdown of PA Race Horse Development Trust Fund distributions;
- Figures for breeding of both thoroughbred and standardbred horses;
- Number of live races held in Pennsylvania and number of horses competing;
- Purses awarded; and
- Taxable handle and live racing handle.
About the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development Fund
The Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act (“Act”) states that the authorization of limited gaming is intended to positively assist the Commonwealth’s horse racing industry, support programs intended to foster and promote horse breeding, and improve the living and working conditions of personnel who work and reside in and around the stable and backside areas of racetracks. The avenue utilized through the Act to assist the horse racing industry was the creation of the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development Fund which is funded by a portion (approximately 10%) of gross revenue generated from slot machine gaming from the 12 casinos.
About the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is tasked to oversee all aspects of gambling legalized under 2004’s Race Horse Development and Gaming Act and the Gaming Expansion Act of 2017. In addition to slot machine and table games gambling at land-based casinos, the expansion includes online casino games available to date on 11 sites; sports wagering offered through sportsbooks at 12 retail locations and through nine online outlets; video gaming terminals (VGTs) offered as of this date at 33 qualified truck stops; and, fantasy sports contests through eight providers.
The mature land-based casino industry in Pennsylvania currently consists of 10 stand-alone and racetrack casinos in operation, along with the two smaller resort casinos. These facilities collectively employ over 16,000 people and, along with other types of Board-regulated gaming, annually generate over $1.5 billion in tax revenue. Construction of a 13th casino is currently underway along with a number of new “mini-casinos” expected to begin operation over the next couple of years.
Additional information about both the PGCB’s gaming regulatory efforts and Pennsylvania’s gaming industry can be found at https://gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov/ . You can also follow the agency on Twitter by choosing @PAGamingControl.