The Gaming Control Board Tuesday released its annual Racetrack Casino Benchmark Report. Since its first release in 2008, this annual report has concentrated on the impact of Pennsylvania casinos on the state's horse racing industry.
In accordance with the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act, approximately 11 percent of revenue generated from slot machine gaming was earmarked for the racing industry and agricultural initiatives in 2014.
As a result, more than $242 million in slot machine tax revenue was generated for the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development Fund. Of this amount, approximately $230 million was distributed to both the thoroughbred and standardbred racing industries to enhance purses, assist breeding operations, provide health and pension benefits for horsemen, and provide resources for proper regulatory oversight.
"Individuals and businesses are continuing to participate in live racing in Pennsylvania due to enhanced purses, breeding incentives, and improved living and working conditions," says the PGCB's Director of the Office of Racetrack Gaming Kevin Kile. "This participation from horsemen who investment directly into the Commonwealth's economy demonstrates the size and scope of Pennsylvania's racing industry which is due, in large part, to the success of legalized casino gambling."
Among the specific findings in this year's report are:
— Racetrack operators have contributed $60 million through the end of 2014 in new and renovated racing facilities. Property specific details have been included in this new report.
— Racing is providing an additional amenity for patrons who frequent casinos with over 827,000 patrons attending live racing in 2014.
— Average daily gross terminal revenue generated from slot machine gaming by the six racinos that host racing was higher on race days when compared to non-race days over the past five consecutive years.
— Over 18,000 individual horses raced in Pennsylvania in 2014 making more than 91,000 starts throughout the year, demonstrating the size and scope of Pennsylvania's racing industry.
— Approximately $765 million was wagered on races held in Pennsylvania in 2014 representing a decrease of 5.3 percent when compared to the previous year.
— Live racing handle in 2014 was 32 percent higher when compared to the same time period before casinos gaming commenced in 2006.The full report is available online.