Governor Wolf (D) Attempting to Terminate Horse-racing Subsidy

“Average daily attendance for the Williamsport Crosscutters minor league baseball team is greater than attendance at any of the state’s six horse tracks.”

A proposal by Gov. Tom Wolf to redirect about $200 million a year in subsidies that currently go to the horse-racing industry has the backing of animal rights and school funding proponents, but faces stiff opposition from the horse-racing industry, the agricultural industry lobby and rural lawmakers.

Pennsylvania: racing handle drops by more than 10% in 2019Wolf first proposed shifting the horse-racing subsidy to other uses in 2020. In this year’s budget, unveiled in February, he repeated that call and suggested that the money should be used to fund scholarships for students to attend one of the 14 universities in the State System of Higher Education.

“When you think about it, when you support a college student, that person’s going to live another 50 years and be a productive member of society,” said Sharon Ward, a former Wolf administration official who authored a report released on May 2020 examining the horse-racing fund. “These horses are around for three to four years and then they are gone.”

She called it a “bad use of tax dollars.”

That report noted that, despite the state subsidies, public interest in horse racing has been consistently waning.

“In 2018, the subsidy of $240 million was almost five times the amount wagered by Pennsylvanians on races run on Pennsylvania tracks,” that report found.

“Average daily attendance for the Williamsport Crosscutters minor league baseball team is greater than attendance at any of the state’s six horse tracks,” according to the report…

Goldman Sachs Raises Penn National’s Stock Target by Almost $40 a Share

Fresh off mobile launches in Michigan and Virginia, gambling analysts on Tuesday gave another vote of confidence to publicly traded sports betting companies.

Goldman Sachs upgraded DraftKings to a buy with a $65 price target and reiterated Penn as a buy with a growing price target from $86 to $124 a share.

As of 12:30pm ET, DraftKings was up seven percent on the day to $54.90, while Penn was down 1.8 percent to $102.12.

The DraftKings upgrade was based on what the analysts said was a market leader position and “ability to participate in the economics of single operator states.” DraftKings, for example, runs sports betting in New Hampshire through its contract with the state lottery…

PA Governor proposes using Funds from Horse Racing to help with college tuition

“Three years ago the governor signed a bill to create that trust fund that couldn’t be touched, and now three years later he’s coming back and taking $200 million out of 250 dollars. All those jobs would be lost, all these horses would have to be re-homed, the economy would be devastated.” ~ Kim Hankins, the executive director of Meadows Standard Bred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, Pa. — Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is proposing to cut $204 million from the Race Horse Development Fund and moving it to help college students with tuition.

The governor says the money would support the Nellie Bly tuition program, which provides financial assistance to targeted full-time students who agree to stay in Pennsylvania for the same number of years for which they receive the benefit.

Governor Wolf tells Channel 11′s Cara Sapida that the legislature would need to approve the transfer of the tax dollars going to purse winnings for owners, trainers and jockeys, and redirect them to this scholarship program.

Pete Peterson, executive director of the Pennsylvania Equine Coalition, told Channel 11 that money in the Race Horse Development Trust Fund comes from an assessment paid by casinos on their gross terminal revenues from slot machine gaming. The legislature noted in the 2017 Race Horse Industry Reform Act that the money isn’t funds of the Commonwealth and that the “Commonwealth shall not be rightfully entitled to any money” in the RHDTF.

Parx, Penn Among Casinos Receiving Fines from the Gaming Control Board

racino slots machine HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb., 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board today approved fines totaling $32,500 against three casino operators for various violations. The fines were the result of the approvals of consent agreements between the PGCB’s Office of Enforcement Counsel and: Mount Airy #1, LLC, operator of Mount Airy Casino Resort in Monroe County,… [Read more…]