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PA Slot Impact on Race Purses Report Released

PRESS RELEASE

July 27, 2016

Statistics in the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission annual report for 2015 reflect how integral revenue from slot machines is to purses for Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing at six racetrack casinos in the state.

Total wagering on live races at the six tracks last year amounted to $720,537,799. Purses paid totaled $201,976,424, or 28% of pari-mutuel handle. Purses derived only from handle generally run from 6%-7% on average in the United States, according to Thoroughbred Racing Associations stats.

As expected, the percentage of alternative gaming revenue supporting purses was lower for the three Thoroughbred tracks—Parx Racing, Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, and Presque Isle Downs & Casino than for the three Standardbred tracks. The Thoroughbred tracks combined for $496,353,661 in pari-mutuel handle in 2015 and Thoroughbred purses paid of $105,408,653, which is 21% of total wagering on live races.

Harness racing purses totaled $96,567,771 at Harrah's Philadelphia, The Meadows Racetrack & Casino, and Mohegan Sun Pocono. That figure is 43% of total handle of $224,184,138 on live races at the three tracks.

A percentage of slots revenue at racetrack casinos and non-track casinos in Pennsylvania goes to the Race Horse Development Fund for purses, breed development, and other programs.

On the Thoroughbred side, Parx led the list with total wagering of $254,913,375 and purses paid of $59,905,809 in 2015. The Meadows topped the Standardbred tracks in both categories with total handle of $100,749,974—almost 45% of total harness betting—and $36,214,786 in purses paid last year.

The annual report shows that total tax revenue generated by pari-mutuel wagering was $10,026,179 last year. An introduction states that $18 million to $20 million is needed to regulate horse racing in the state each year; legislation signed into law earlier this year calls for a percentage of RHDF revenue to be used to support racing commission operations and programs.

Return to Pennsylvania Casinos.


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