'10-10-10' Bill Passes West Virginia Senate

West Virginia owners and breeders would benefit from a bill passed by the Senate.

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, would return under legislation passed by the state Senate March 2.

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, told the Hagerstown, Md., Herald-Mail 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 “10-10-10” 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, which now heads to the House of Delegates, would restore the payments beginning July 1, 2010 and ending June 30, 2011.

The measure also includes a provision that table games revenue going to purses be paid “pro rata” among Charles Town and Mountaineer. Under current law, the revenue is pooled and each track gets 2.5% for purses.

It’s widely believed that when Charles Town begins table gaming last this year, it will produce more revenue than Mountaineer, located at the other end of the state.

According to the legislation, $200,000 paid from a trust that’s part of the West Virginia Racing Commission Special Account for health and disability benefits to active and disabled jockeys would be discontinued.