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.

New Competition for Oaklawn Park in Arkansas?

Competition is coming for Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs.

Of course, it’s always faced competitors in the form of other thoroughbred racetracks and then, later, in the form of the electronic “games of skill” also offered by Southland Park (now Southland Casino Racing) in West Memphis, as well as the myriad other ways in which people spend money to entertain themselves.

But with the opening of the Saracen Annex in Pine Bluff, to be joined later this year by the full-fledged Saracen Casino Resort, Oaklawn faces head-to-head competition in its own backyard.

Gaming industry experts told our Mark Friedman that Arkansas’ gambling market probably wasn’t yet saturated. But the Saracen Annex, which opened for business in late September, already appears to be cutting into Oaklawn’s terminal and slot machine wagers, which fell 15.7% in the fourth quarter of 2019, compared with the same period in 2018.

More:

Controversial betting machines headed to Nebraska horse tracks

LINCOLN — The Nebraska Racing Commission rejected the position of the state’s attorneys in voting Wednesday to install controversial machines that take wagers at Nebraska’s thoroughbred tracks.

Commissioners voted 3-2 during a meeting at Grand Island’s Fonner Park racetrack to allow the machines, which are used to bet on historical horse races. The same board approved the machines in October but then nullified that vote amid warnings that the meeting had violated state open meeting rules.

Chris Kotulak, the CEO of Fonner Park, praised Wednesday’s decision, saying it would pump millions of tax dollars into state coffers and provide a much-needed boost to the state’s struggling thoroughbred racetracks.

“It will be the urgent shot in the arm to help the horse racing industry,” Kotulak said. “The surrounding states that offer thoroughbred racing all have additional gaming that supplements their purse money. They’re taking away the horses and trainers.”

Meanwhile, the head of a leading anti-gambling group in Nebraska promised a swift legal challenge to the commission’s action. The Nebraska Attorney General’s Office has said the commission lacks the power to approve a new form of legalized betting in the state.

“It’s a slot machine,” said Pat Loontjer of Gambling with the Good Life. “It walks like a duck, it talks like a duck — it’s a duck.”

More:

Annual Report on Casino Gaming’s Impact on PA’s Horse Racing Industry

racino slots machinePennsylvania Gaming Control Board Releases Latest Casino Data

HARRISBURG, Pa., April 2, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board released the Annual Racetrack Casino Benchmark Report detailing the impact of Pennsylvania casinos on the Commonwealth’s horse racing industry. The report is now available for download from the PGCB’s web site www.gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov. The report includes and compares information from the 2017 calendar year.… [Read more…]

Century Casinos to present at Global Chinese Financial Forum Conference in Toronto, Canada

Century Casino logoCOLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Sept. 25, 2017 /CNW/ — Century Casinos, Inc. (NASDAQ Capital Market®: CNTY) announced today that the company will attend the 18 th Annual Global Chinese Financial Forum Conference in Toronto, Canada on September 30, 2017. Peter Hoetzinger, President & Co CEO, will present the company and hold one-on-one meetings with selected institutional investors.… [Read more…]

Hollywood’s Seminole Hard Rock Rake in Over Half a Billion Dollars

racino slots machineSouth Florida racetrack casino owners merely shake their head when they asked how they can “compete” with the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, and my recent calculations explain why. It’s because the Seminole Hard Rock’s haul for the past fiscal year ending June 30, 2016, totaled more than $579 million. That’s more than… [Read more…]

Annual Slot Revenues at Florida Racetracks Up 2 Percent vs 2016

racino slots machineSlot revenues at South Florida racetrack casinos rose by more than 2 percent this fiscal year compared to last, according to figures released this month by the state’s Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering. Click Here For Other Stories And Videos On South Florida Reporter The eight dog tracks, horse tracks and jai-alai frontons with slots collected $549… [Read more…]

Racetrack Century Casinos, Inc. Announces Third Quarter 2016 Results

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Nov., 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Century Casinos, Inc. (NASDAQ Capital Market®: CNTY) announced its financial results for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2016. Third Quarter 2016 Highlights* Net operating revenue was $34.5 million, a 3% increase from the three months ended September 30, 2015. Earnings from operations were $3.8… [Read more…]

Video Lottery Machines at New Jersey Racetracks?

Historic Racing game slot machines If casino vote fails, should N.J. put video lottery machines at racetracks?

TRENTON — A state lawmaker has a backup plan if New Jersey voters reject next month’s ballot referendum to bring casino gambling to the northern part of the state: Installing slot machine-like gaming at the Garden State’s racetracks. Assemblyman Ralph Caputo said Monday that should the referendum fail — as polls predict it will — he… [Read more…]

Northern N.J. Casino Fight has N.Y. groups jumping in with big bucks

TRENTON — New York-based groups on either side of a fall referendum to decide whether to expand casino gambling to the northern part of the state are gearing up for a fight, according to a news report. The New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council and a group backed by a Queens virtual casino operator are… [Read more…]