Non-Track Casino Funds Approved for OH Racing

The state racing commission distributed more than $1.77 million to horse racing.

The Ohio State Racing Commission Dec. 13 approved the distribution of more than $1.77 million in revenue racing has received from non-track casinos in the state.

The funds, generated by casinos in Cleveland, Columbus, and Toledo so far this year, were awarded for breeding funds, purses, and operations. The racing industry gets 3% of the 33% tax on gross gaming revenue from the casinos; a fourth casino is scheduled to open in Cincinnati in early 2013.

Purse supplements were paid to harness and Thoroughbred tracks according to number of live race dates.

The big winners are Standardbred and Thoroughbred breeders. Each breed received $337,438 for breed development funds in 2013, according to OSRC documents.

On the Thoroughbred side, Thistledown will get $101,088 for purses, followed by Beulah Park at $96,902, and River Downs at $78,066.

River Downs will also receive $66,000 for operations. The other two Thoroughbred tracks are owned by companies that own the non-track casinos and aren't eligible for that funding by law.

The payments from the casinos are received quarterly. The OSRC under the gaming law is granted the authority to appropriate the revenue for racing. It solicited comments from industry stakeholders before devising a payment plan.

Six Ohio tracks are moving ahead with plans to build video lottery terminal parlors; the seventh, Scioto Downs, opened its VLT facility earlier this year. Even with VLTs, however, tracks and horsemen will continue receiving the share of non-track casino revenue.