Mid-Atlantic 2024 HISA tab up 16% versus 2023

Mid-Atlantic tracks and horsemen are potentially on the hook for more than $17 million, prior to credits, of payments and in-kind services to the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) in 2024. That’s up 16.8% from last year, when the organization required about $14.8 million from the region and includes, among other things, a full year of HISA being in charge of the sports anti-doping and medication control regime.

The federally created organization’s 2024 budget identifies nearly $81 million in expenses, with the lion’s share – more than $77 million – to be borne by the industry itself. The industry contributions come in the form of both payments and in-kind services, such as collecting lab samples for testing.

The assessments are calculated to take into account the number of starters at a given track and the size of the purses. As a result, track assessments vary fairly widely; in the Mid-Atlantic, for example, the HISA fee per start at Pimlico – with high purses over few days – hits $446, while that at Penn National is just $225. Nationally, Kentucky Downs has the highest per-start fee; with its extraordinarily high purses, it is responsible for nearly $1,100 per start.

The $17.3 million potential Mid-Atlantic tab amounts to nearly seven percent of the more than $250 million in purses paid in the region. Credits offered for laboratory participation and sample collection total nearly $5.3 million, most of that in Pennsylvania, where Parx and Penn National receive lab credits totaling $2.4 million. Pennsylvania and California are the only two states currently receiving lab credits, while all but a very few do receive credit for sample collection.

Some tracks do not currently participate in HISA. In the Mid-Atlantic, that includes Charles Town Races; West Virginia’s Mountaineer Park Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) joined a still-in-process lawsuit that earlier had seen the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rule HISA unconstitutional. After various machinations, that suit is back before that body now.


TrackHISA annual costStartsPursesHISA fee/startTotal credits
DEL$1,469,051.004,593$ 21,464,218$319.85$431,000.00
CT$3,281,367.0010,556$ 36,495,880$310.85$0.00
LRL$3,126,993.009,013$ 51,663,625$346.94$696,000.00
PIM$784,152.001,756$ 12,955,623$446.56$146,000.00
TIM$120,743.00367$ 1,994,887$329.00$34,000.00
CNL$785,275.001,975$ 13,990,713$397.61$150,000.00
PRX$4,369,039.0011,751$ 60,508,858$371.80$2,198,000.00
PEN$1,560,305.006,928$ 21,609,388$225.22$1,639,000.00
Source: HISA. Note: Charles Town does not currently participate in HISA.