More than $228 million was accrued for purses at six Pennsylvania racetracks in 2015 with almost 90% of the funds derived from slot machine revenue, according to an annual report that analyzes the racetrack gaming industry in the state.
The president of the New York THA said it's disappointing that revenue from the planned 1,000 new VLTs at Aqueduct won't produce revenue for purses and the New York Racing Association.
In an attempt to keep Thoroughbred racing alive in Massachusetts, the New England HBPA has formed a coalition that is intent upon building a new, non-profit equine center and racetrack in the state.
The head of the horsemen's group at Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack is predicting the end of racing at the upstate Thoroughbred track, after a new state government budget deal failed to protect purse levels.
Horses are back training at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort, where more than three months of down time in late fall and winter allowed time for improvements in the barn area.
A subcommittee of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission March 29 opted to delay a vote and instead solicit input on the percentage of revenue Thoroughbred and Standardbred purses and breeding funds get from casino gaming.
Racing and gambling matters are still in play in New York as the governor and lawmakers try in the coming week to put the finishing touches on a new state budget.
An official with Rockingham Park, which remains open for simulcasts but hasn't offered live racing since 2009, confirmed March 24 that the property will be put on the market.
The New York State Senate budget resolution for fiscal 2016-17 includes a few recommendations for protecting revenue for the horse racing industry given impending competition from full-scale casinos.
Revenue for horse racing is included in a casino-expansion referendum that will be put before New Jersey voters in November. The legislation states that not less than 2% of revenue would go to support horse racing.
A strong push to decouple racing from gaming officially hit the wall with the end of this year's Florida legislative session March 11, but a horsemen's coalition said it fully expects the issue to come up again in 2017.
With on- and off-track pari-mutuel wagering both up at the halfway point of its 2016 meet, Oaklawn Park has again raised overnight purses, this time by up to $5,000 a race.
Major gambling bills tied to a $3 billion compact with the Seminole tribe were removed from a Florida Senate committee agenda March 1 and may not be addressed before the current legislative session ends.
Pro-racing lawmakers in West Virginia took part in a March 1 Capitol press conference to discuss the economic impact of Thoroughbred racing and breeding given legislation that would decouple live racing from gaming.
Legislation that would allow most pari-mutuel operations to end live racing and become slot-machine casinos or card rooms with simulcast wagering easily cleared the Florida House Finance and Tax Committee Feb. 29.
The Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association said it believes it can find common ground with Arlington as it moves into contract negotiations and also work with track officials to better position Illinois racing.
A state group that studies the impact of tax changes in Florida offered a general assessment Feb. 26 that decoupling horse racing from gaming would have minimal effect on pari-mutuel revenue for state government.
The West Virginia Senate Feb. 25 had first reading on legislation that would defund and decouple greyhound racing from gaming but maintain requirements that Thoroughbred racing receive its share of gaming revenue.
Legislation designed to modernize horse racing in Pennsylvania was signed into law Feb. 23 by Gov. Tom Wolf, who last fall threatened to shut down the industry because it couldn't pay for regulation.
The New Hampshire Senate voted Feb. 18 to table a bill authorizing one casino to be located at Rockingham Park, dealing yet another blow to hopes for the revitalization of the track and the return of live Thoroughbred racing.
The Florida Senate Regulated Industries Committee Feb. 17 passed two pieces of legislation, one authorizing a compact with the Seminole tribe and another that would allow decoupling at most racetracks in the state.
Legislation that would remove the requirement that racetracks with gaming also offer live racing has been introduced in the West Virginia Senate.
In the wake of bills introduced in the Florida legislature, horsemen have reiterated their opposition to any measure that would permit pari-mutuel facilities to end live racing but maintain gaming operations.
Former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, in comments that helped kick off the Consignors and Commercial Breeders Association symposium Feb. 2, said horse racing and breeding in the state is strong, but challenges remain.
Legislation that would restore video lottery terminal-generated purse funds that have been diverted to pay down a workers' compensation debt has been introduced in the West Virginia House of Delegates.
A New York Native American tribe has filed a lawsuit to block a recently approved casino that has everyone from upstate casinos to racetracks worried about losing business to the new gambling resort under construction.
Industry stakeholders will be among the speakers on the topic of decoupling when the Florida Thoroughbred Farm Managers holds its annual meeting Jan. 9 in Ocala.
Belmont Park would become home to a casino with 1,000 video lottery terminals under a plan put forward Dec. 29 by Nassau Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. But the plan is considered a longshot.
Officials at Finger Lakes in upstate New York said the facility risks closure as early as 2017 unless the state takes action to protect its finances in the wake of approval Dec. 21 of a full-blown casino about 25 miles away.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission took no action Dec. 17 on a request from the Massachusetts THA to be recognized as the legitimate representative of the region's owners and trainers rather than the New England HBPA.
A pricey compact between Florida Gov. Rick Scott and the Seminole Tribe allows for the decoupling of casino gambling and pari-mutuel racing, but whether that provision becomes law remains to be seen.
As Tampa Bay Downs prepared to begin its meet Nov. 28, Peter Berube, general manager at the Florida racetrack, discussed its model for success in the face of competition from tracks with alternative gaming.
Illinois racetracks, which aren't permitted to have gaming machines, have watched about 5,100 other locations install slot machines which, according to a report, aren't subject to typical casino-style regulation.
The West Virginia Racing Commission Nov. 18 approved customary live racing dates, but the schedules for Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races and Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort are expected to be drastically reduced.
Because of a reduction in horses, Lexington training center will close Dec. 1 for the winter and may not reopen.
State officials in Pennsylvania said they expect lawmakers the week of Nov. 16 to consider legislation that would, in part, stabilize the funding of horse racing regulation.
The early closure of Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort in West Virginia has had a positive impact on Hollywood Casino at Mahoning Valley Race Course, at least for the first six days of its 2015-16 meet.
Racing stakeholders in Pennsylvania are working with Gov. Tom Wolf's administration to devise a funding plan for regulation in the wake of ongoing declines in pari-mutuel handle in the state.
Horsemen's groups are rallying to head off a move to decouple live racing from casino-style gambling at pari-mutuel facilities in Florida. Currently, tracks with slot machines must also offer live racing.
Legislation authorizing advance deposit wagering is on the wish list for a group of racing industry stakeholders in West Virginia, according to a report that was approved by a committee.
NYRA president Christopher Kay, whose contract extension was announced Oct. 21, said the organization most likely will experience an increase in profit this year exclusive of revenue from video lottery terminals.
A New York State panel has tapped a fourth location for a full-blown casino as the state marches closer to a final set of approvals for a casino expansion.
Gretna Racing, which won a license to offer Quarter Horse barrel racing as a steppingstone to apply for slot machines, was dealt a setback when the Florida First District Court of Appeal Oct. 2 reversed its earlier opinion.
'Decoupling' of racing, gaming heating up
A group of West Virginia racing stakeholders has prepared a report on the state of the industry and makes suggestions on how to improve the economics, but when it is approved remains to be seen.
The Illinois Racing Board Aug. 27 granted Maywood Park permission to scrap the final three months of its harness season, a controversial decision with implications for the coming year's Thoroughbred dates.
The West Virginia racing industry will pursue several initiatives during the 2016 legislative session, including statutory changes that would lower the minimum number of racing dates for which tracks must apply each year.
Track president Bill Fasy said Delaware Park continues to make money, but when it comes to long-term things like capital improvements, the racetrack gaming industry in the state needs some assistance.
Pennsylvania lawmakers are examining legislation that would lower the minimum number of live racing days required at racetrack gaming facilities, and also allow each track to install slot machines at up to four OTW parlors.
This year's $500,000 Ohio Derby in retrospect can be considered a success on several levels, and management at ThistleDown Racino expects the marquee race--and the overall racing product--to only get better.
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