West Virginia horse racing’s “10-10-10 program," which offers purse supplements to in-state Thoroughbred owners, as well as breeders and stallion owners, will return under legislation signed into law April 2 by Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin.
The measure passed the Senate March 2 and the House March 11.
The West Virginia Racing Commission Special Account, part of state statute, oversees the “10-10-10 program." Payments, however, haven’t been made since 2007.
Democratic Sen. Herb Snyder, whose district includes Charles Town Races & Slots, has said the bill would make good on $4.7 million horsemen should have received the past three years. The money would come from excess video lottery terminal revenue; Charles Town and Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort have VLTs.
The program was designed to offer incentives for breed development and help preserve farmland. Under the program, the owner of the winner of any race in West Virginia, provided he or she is a “bona fide” resident of the state, gets 10% of the purse; the breeder, provided the mare foaled in West Virginia, gets 10%; and the stallion owner, provided the mare was serviced by said stallion, gets 10% of the purse of any race in the state.
The bill would restore the payments beginning July 1, 2010.
According to a fiscal note from the West Virginia Insurance Commission, the law redirects about $3 million a year in VLT proceeds to the WVRC Special Account, which includes revenue from uncashed pari-mutuel tickets. The measure underwent several revisions since it was introduced in Jan. 22, 2010.