Even though overall United States casino revenues dropped for the first time this decade, domestic racinos registered double-digit percentage growth in 2008, according to a report issued May 18 by the American Gaming Association.
Year-over-year revenues at racinos -- or casinos based at Thoroughbred, Harness, Quarter Horse, and/or Greyhound tracks -- grew 17.2% to $6.19 billion last year, and more than tripling 2002, when $2 billion in revenues were recorded. Overall U.S. casino revenues fell 4.7% to $32.5 billion, the first such decline since the trade organization began tracking such trends in 1999, according to the report, which is titled "State of the States 2009: The AGA Survey of Casino Entertainment."
The AGA report called racinos the primary method of gaming expansion, noting revenue growth was realized in 9 of 11 states where such entities operated in 2007 and 2008. Here is a ranking by gross revenues (Indiana launched racinos in 2008):
|RACINO REVENUE 2007-2008|
|State||2008 revenues||2007 revenues||Change|
Yonkers, N.Y. was the top-ranked racino market by 2008 revenues with $486.46 million, according to data provided to the AGA by The Innovation Group. Charles Town, W. Va., where Penn National Gaming’s Charles Town Races & Slots is located, was second with $454.01 million. Other leading markets included Bensalem, Pa., where Philadelphia Park Casino & Racetrack is located; Wilmington, Del., where Delaware Park Horse Racing & Slots is located; Chester, W. Va., where Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Restaurant is located; and Broward County, Fla., where Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino is located.
|TOP INDIVIDUAL MARKETS in 2008|
|Charles Town, W.Va.||$454.01||million|
|Delaware Park/Wilmington, Del.||$253.29||million|
At the end of 2008, there were 44 racinos located in 12 states, and tax contributions rose 16.6% to $2.59 billion. A total of 29,051 employees worked at racinos, an increase of 6.6% over 2007.
The nation in 2008 had a total of 1,606 casinos, slot parlors, and other gambling halls such as card rooms operating in 37 states where such gaming is legal. The number of casino jobs fell 1%, to more than 357,000, while total tax revenue was basically flat at $5.7 billion.