The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board today released its seventh 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% of revenue generated from slot machine gaming was earmarked for the racing industry and agricultural initiatives in 2013. As a result, more than $252 million in slot machine tax revenue was generated for the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development Fund. Of this amount, approximately $209 million was used by both the thoroughbred and harness racing industries to enhance purses, assist breeding operations, and provide health and pension benefits for horsemen.
Among the specific findings in this year’s report are:
• The amount of tax revenue generated for the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development Fund decreased by approximately 7% in 2013 due to a decrease in gross terminal revenue generated by the casinos which host horse or harness racing.
• In addition to revenue generated for the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development Fund, racetrack casino operators invested over $6 million in 2013 (and approximately $52 million since casinos opened in 2006) to improve the stable and backside areas of their racetracks.
• Total dollars wagered on races held in Pennsylvania, referred to as the live racing handle, was approximately 4% higher in 2013 due to an increase in wagering on races held at Pennsylvania racetracks by patrons outside of the Commonwealth.
• While live racing handle increased, taxable handle decreased by approximately 8% in 2013 mainly due to a decrease in simulcast wagering which is offered at the racetracks, off-track wagering facilities, and through phone wagering services.
The full report can be downloaded from the Reports link on the Gaming Control Board's web site, www.gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov.
About the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board:
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board was established in 2004 with the passage of Act 71, also known as the Race Horse Development and Gaming Act. Pennsylvania’s first new state agency in nearly 30 years, the Gaming Control Board is tasked to oversee all aspects of the state’s casino industry. The 12 casinos in operation all offer both slot machine and table game gambling, employ over 16,000 people, and collectively generate an average of $4 million per day in tax revenue. A portion of that money is used for property tax reduction to all Pennsylvania homeowners; provide funds to the Commonwealth’s horse racing industry, fire companies, a statewide water and sewer project grant program, and the state’s General Fund; and, established a new stream of tax revenue to local governments that host casinos for community projects.
A wealth of information about the Gaming Control Board’s regulatory efforts and Pennsylvania’s gaming industry can be found at www.gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov. At this website, visitors can watch Board meetings live or view videos of past meetings, look up future meeting schedules and past meeting transcripts, obtain information on identifying a gambling problem and gaining assistance, access an interactive map of casino locations, request a speaker for their group, along with much more information. You can also follow the agency on Twitter by choosing @PAGamingControl.