REPORT: Slots and horses a winning combination in PA
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board released the second Pari-Mutuel Wagering Benchmark Report to detail the impact of slot machine play on the pari-mutuel industry in Pennsylvania.
The report compares the status of pari-mutuel wagering for the years of 2006, 2007 and 2008. It focuses on revenue from slots play and the various indicators of pari-mutuel health such as racing days, purse amounts, racing handle (the total amount wagered by patrons) and the export of live racing signals to other properties both inside and outside Pennsylvania.
Melinda Tucker, Director of Racetrack Gaming for the Gaming Control Board, says the second report begins to bring into focus the effect that slots play is having on the horse racing industry in Pennsylvania.
"With three years worth of data, some trends are starting to emerge including the fact that the horse and harness racing facilities are enjoying an increase in gaming revenue on days when live horse racing is conducted," Tucker said.
Gaming Control Board member and agriculturalist Gary A. Sojka says that this type of report is important because it helps gauge the progress of a major objective of the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act, reinvigoration of the horse and harness racing industry.
“The improvement of our racing industry, spurred by the tremendous success of legalized slots gaming, has a direct impact on farmland preservation and a beneficial trickle-down on the entire agricultural community in the Commonwealth," Sojka said.
Highlights of the report include:
- In 2008, the average daily gross terminal revenue generated from slot machines gaming at horse and harness racing facilities was 11.1% higher on racing days vs. non-racing days, or $625,598 on non-race days vs. $695,430 on race days
- In 2008 there were seven slots facilities operating in Pennsylvania, which collectively contributed $193.9 million to the PA Race Horse Development Fund. This was an increase of $69.2 million over 2007
- The industry total of all race days in Pennsylvania increased by 11.8% from 838 race days in 2007 to 937 race days in 2008
- The industry total of the live racing handle on-track increased by 5.7% from $41.3 million in 2006 to $43.6 million in 2008. When comparing 2007 to 2008 the live racing handle on-track increased 6.7% from $40.9 million in 2007 to $43.6 million in 2008
- The industry total of all exports (in-state and inter-state) from Pennsylvania increased by 19.1% from $545.5 million in 2007 to $649.8 million in 2008
- The industry total of all purses earned in Pennsylvania increased by 39.3% from $144.3 million in 2007 to $201.1 million in 2008