Their financial performances were no secret during the year, but now the final numbers for fiscal 2014 are in and, for the first time, New York racetrack-based casinos showed their first year-to-year dip in net revenue.
New York lawmakers have given final approval to an expansion of video lottery terminal games at six of the state's nine racetrack-based casinos.
A measure giving flexibility to the financial operations of the New York State Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund passed by a comfortable margin in the state Senate, as it has every year since 2010.
Legislation has been introduced in both houses of the New York legislature to require the owners of a future commercial casino to make whole any losses suffered by horsemen and breeders at nearby Finger Lakes.
Legislation for the fiscal 2016 state budget in West Virginia is calling for another reduction in video lottery terminal and table games revenue that goes to purses at Thoroughbred and Greyhound tracks.
Video lottery terminals at Aqueduct Racetrack have helped push up prices of New York-bred yearlings and increased the state's foal crop in what economic development officials say has been a far-reaching impact.
A New York casino panel has approved another round of bids for a gaming facility in the Southern Tier region of the state located near Binghamton and just across from the Pennsylvania border.
ThistleDown Racino has increased the 2015 purse for the Ohio Derby to a record high of $500,000. In addition, daily purses at the 90-year-old track will average $130,000.
Upstate New York racetrack-based casinos are stepping up efforts to stop a full-blown commercial casino from opening in the Finger Lakes region.
The governing body of Jefferson County, W.Va., where Charles Town Races is located, plans to send a message to state legislators that further reductions in the share of gaming revenue that supports racing are unacceptable.
The Maryland Jockey Club reported a decrease in pari-mutuel handle on live racing at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course in 2014, but total and average purses were up from 2013.
Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course ended its inaugural meet Dec. 30 with record total pari-mutuel handle of $1,102,566.
A request by management and horsemen at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races to reduce the number of live racing days for 2015 has renewed a discussion about the future of West Virginia Thoroughbred racing.
The Ohio Thoroughbred Racing Fund, now fully supported by revenue from racetrack video lottery terminals, will almost double to more than $5 million in 2015.
Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course held its first-ever racing program Nov. 24 before a fairly large crowd on a wild weather day in northeastern Ohio.
Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course opened its barn area and dirt racing surface for training as scheduled Nov. 10 in advance of a Nov. 24 opening day.
The West Virginia Racing Commission is moving forward with a plan to fashion legislation that would allow flexibility on racing dates and perhaps new gambling offerings to generate revenue for the industry.
Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort and Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races were granted permission Oct. 15 to reduce live racing dates for the final months of 2014.
Laurel Park opens its customary end-of-season meet Sept. 5 with an emphasis on turf racing and stakes clustered on multiple big-event days.
ThistleDown Racino announced Aug. 27 it will increase purses another 5%, starting with a special Labor Day race card Sept. 1.
Belterra Park, which opened for gaming and Thoroughbred racing in May, plans to reduce overnight purses by about 20% according to its next condition book effective Aug. 30.
The West Virginia Racing Commission Aug. 15 upheld a hearing officer's recommendation that Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort can't abandon December racing, but it allowed leeway should purse money not be available.
The future structure of the New York Racing Association and the implications for year-round racing in the state were examined Aug. 12, the first day of the Saratoga Institute on Racing & Gaming Law in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Advance deposit wagering and historical race wagering are on the West Virginia Racing Commission's legislative wish list for 2015.
State regulators in New York have acted quickly to issue a new rule letting racetrack-based casinos operate an extra two hours a day.
New York racetrack gaming facilities, most of which have been facing slumping financial numbers this year, will be able to stay open later into the early morning and be authorized to offer more free play.
New York lawmakers gave final approval June 20 to a bill that will allow racetrack-based casinos to stay open until breakfast time and permit more free-play offerings to gamblers in a bid to boost revenues.
The horsemen's group at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort has signed off on a plan to reduce racing days and the number of races at the West Virginia track later this year.
The West Virginia legislature ended a short special session May 21 and apparently left more than $14 million in gaming revenue to purses and breed development programs for horse and dog racing intact for fiscal year 2015.
Belterra Park Gaming & Entertainment Center, the former River Downs, began its first race meet May 8 with official ceremonies and about 3,000 racing fans on hand on a summer-like afternoon.
Ohio Thoroughbred breeders were told April 5 that supporting stallions based in the state should be a big part of the equation in the new environment of racetrack gaming.
Two Ohio racetracks will pay 10.5% of video lottery terminal revenue to purses, an official with the state's racing and breeding programs said April 5.
A new state budget deal in New York calls for using a portion of video lottery terminal proceeds to create a health insurance program for Thoroughbred jockeys.
Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course received a racing permit from the Ohio State Racing Commission March 27 and plans to offer 21 days of Thoroughbred racing this fall.
The West Virginia Legislature March 14 passed a fiscal year 2014-15 budget that will redirect 10% of racing's share of gaming revenue to other programs.
The Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has signed 10-year racing agreements with the under-construction Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course and ThistleDown Racino, formerly known as Thistledown.
Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort will kick off its 210-day season March 1 with average daily overnight purses of about $115,000, a figure on par with 2013.
Penn National Gaming Inc. and the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association have reached an agreement in regard to the under-construction Youngstown-area racetrack that will replace Beulah Park.
Total on-site pari-mutuel wagering at Delaware Park in 2013 totaled $149.2 million, down 4.1% from $155.5 million in 2012, according to the annual report released Feb. 6 by the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission.
Racing stakeholders and government officials Feb. 4 publicly stated their opposition to legislation that would shift 15% of video lottery and table games revenue to fund other programs in West Virginia.
It appears rather than having one percentage for the amount of revenue that goes to purses from video lottery terminals, Ohio could have a different number for each of its seven racetracks.
Construction of a new racetrack gaming facility in the Mahoning Valley is well under way, but the track's owner and the Ohio State Racing Commission continued a battle over a commitment on the number of stalls Jan. 23.
Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races plans to ask state regulators Jan. 21 for approval to spend almost $200,000 for surveillance equipment for its stable area.
MGM Resorts International has won a three-way race for a license to build a resort casino in Prince George's County, Md., just south of Washington, D.C. And the future of a racetrack remains up in the air.
Ohio breeding programs grew in 2013 and are expected to continue that trend in 2014, according to Ohio State Racing Commission statistics.
With a deadline fast approaching, Ohio racetracks and horsemen's groups indicated Dec. 19 they are close to having definite deals on the percentage of video lottery terminal revenue that will go to purses.
The Ohio State Racing Commission Dec. 19 postponed granting a new racetrack gaming facility a 2014 racing permit because its owners have decided not to have pari-mutuel clerks for live or simulcast racing.
A New Jersey Senate committee Dec. 9 approved legislation that would authorize historical race wagering, also known as Instant Racing, at the state's racetracks, off-track wagering parlors, and casino race books.
The New York Racing Association is finalizing a "fresh look" budget for 2014 that will hike fees imposed on simulcast partners and raise prices for racetrack admission and parking while cutting a number of expenses.
Time is running out for Ohio racetracks and horsemen's groups to agree on the percentage of video lottery terminal revenue that will go to purses and breed development programs.
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