From a Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board release
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board today released its seventh annual Racetrack Casino Benchmark Report. Since its first release in 2008, this annual report has concentrated on the impact of Pennsylvania casinos on the state’s horse racing industry.
In accordance with the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act, approximately 11% of revenue generated from slot machine gaming was earmarked for the racing industry and agricultural initiatives in 2013. As a result, more than $252 million in slot machine tax revenue was generated for the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development Fund. Of this amount, approximately $209 million was used by both the thoroughbred and harness racing industries to enhance purses, assist breeding operations, and provide health and pension benefits for horsemen.
Among the specific findings in this year’s report are:
- The amount of tax revenue generated for the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development Fund decreased by approximately 7% in 2013 due to a decrease in gross terminal revenue generated by the casinos which host horse or harness racing. In other words, Pennsylvania slots players played less at the state’s racinos.
- In addition to revenue generated for the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development Fund, racetrack casino operators invested over $6 million in 2013 (and approximately $52 million since casinos opened in 2006) to improve the stable and backside areas of their racetracks.
- Total dollars wagered on races held in Pennsylvania, referred to as the live racing handle, was approximately 4% higher in 2013 due to an increase in wagering on races held at Pennsylvania racetracks by patrons outside of the Commonwealth.
- While live racing handle increased, taxable handle decreased by approximately 8% in 2013 mainly due to a decrease in simulcast wagering which is offered at the racetracks, off-track wagering facilities, and through phone wagering services.
The full report can be downloaded from the Reports link on the Gaming Control Board’s web site, www.gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov.