According to a recently released Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board report, the slot machines at the Keystone State’s 12 operating brick-and-mortar casinos accounted for a whopping $239 million in tax money for the local horse racing industry. Shortly after this, the board also released its Annual Racetrack Casino Benchmark report that detailed the impact of the state’s casinos on the Commonwealth’s horse racing industry.
The report stated that the total amount wagered on live races held at the six racetracks operating in Pennsylvania rose by three percent in 2017 which saw it exceed the $700 million mark. This rise represents the first year-over-year increase in live racing handle in the state in four years. The authors of the Annual Racetrack Casino Benchmark Report have suggested that the increase is a result of the increase in wagers on Pennsylvania races by bettors outside of the Commonwealth.
In fact, the report states that last year there was a decline in the total amount of money wagered on Pennsylvania race at its six racetracks, nine off-track wagering establishments as well as the electronic wagering platforms operated by licensed racetracks. However, even more growth is on the way thanks to the comprehensive state-wide gambling expansion that was approved by lawmakers last year in October.
The gambling expansion that was passed by lawmakers last year gave Pennsylvanian casinos without racetracks the option of offering pari-mutuel wagering on live horse racing. In addition to this, a portion of the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development Trust Fund is designated to the marketing of horse racing under the supervision and directorship of the State Horse Racing Commission.
What Is The Pennsylvania Horse Race Development Trust Fund?
This fund was created for the sole purpose of being a financial resource to the horse racing industry using the tax money generated by the state’s casinos – 10 percent of the revenue generated by slot machine gaming in Pennsylvanian casinos to be more precise. This amounted to $239 million in 2017 which is still pretty huge even though it was a 2.5 percent drop from the amount collected in 2016.
The $239 million collected in 2017 will be channelled towards the enhancement of race purses, supporting local agricultural initiatives, provision of health and pension benefits for horsemen as well as assisting local horse breeding operations.