Audit Shows Improvement for MJC in 2010

The Maryland Jockey Club submitted an audited financial report March 31 that showed losses for Laurel Park and a small profit for Pimlico Race Course for the final eight months of 2010. The numbers reflect improvement from the previous two years.

The documents, given to the Maryland Racing Commission, also reflect a small loss from operation of Maryland off-track betting facilities.

In a teleconference, MJC president Tom Chuckas said a combination of business decisions that reduced costs by $1.6 million, an agreement with horsemen that will prodcue $1.7 million, and $3.7 million from the state will enable the operation to become closer to break-even in 2011.

He said some of the expenses in 2010 were associated with the unsuccessful legal effort to get VLTs at the tracks.

According to independent auditor Ernst & Young, the net loss at Laurel was $6.9 million. The largest expenses were operating costs at $12 million, purses at $9.6 million, and signal fees at $2.5 million.

Gross wagering revenue at Laurel for the eight months was $21.9 million; non-wagering revenue was $1.3 million.

At Pimlico, gross wagering revenue totaled $16.7 million. But, largely because of the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), non-wagering revenue was $8 million, helping to offset $11.8 million in expenses.

Net income was $20,000 for Pimlico, according to the audited financials.

In March the MJC released unaudited financial statements that showed rare losses for Pimlico; $2.6 million in 2009, and $901,000 in 2008. The same documents showed net losses for Laurel of $11.5 million in 2009 and almost $11 million in 2008.

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