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Pa. slots reach $3 billion

May 11, 2007
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Despite the fact that only four of the proposed 14 casino sites allowable in Pennsylvania are currently open, wagering on the slots reached $3 billion for the year Wednesday in the Keystone State.

 

All four slot sites currently open are “racinos”–racetracks with an area for the metal gaming machines. Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs was the pioneer among the Pennsylvania racinos, opening in November of last year, while the brand-new track Harrah’s Chester began their slot play in January. A third harness track, The Meadows, will welcome slot pay in late spring. (The other racino sites currently open are running tracks Philadelphia Park and the new Presque Isle Downs.)

 

A portion of the slot revenue is set aside by law for the racing industries, with the major portion of that figure going to “overnight” purses, the bread and butter of any raceway operation. Consider how this revenue stream has aided harness racing already:

 

--Pocono is currently distributing over $100,000 a day in purse money, up about 70 percent from last year, and is featuring the best quality of racing ever seen at the northeast Pennsylvania oval;

 

--The Meadows granted a 28 percent purse boost even before the slots start there in anticipation of coming revenues;

 

--Harrah’s Chester, which opens in early July, is scheduled to be paying in excess of $150,000 a day in purses, up 100 percent over last year’s figures.

 

The Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and Pennsylvania Standardbred Breeders Development Fund, both administered in-house by the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission, a part of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, has also shared in the slots windfall, with both funds receiving over $1,500,000 since slot action started in Pennsylvania last November.

 

The slots revenue also aids many non-racing functions for Pennsylvanians, including taxes that are being earmarked for reducing property taxes; a percentage returned directly to the local communities hosting the racinos; and a boost to the efforts of the state’s Department of Community and Economic Development.

 

(For further information, contact Jerry Connors of the Commission at 1 866 WIN IN PA, or gconnors@state.pa.us.)

 

SIRE STAKES PAYMENTS ARE DUE
 
Horsemen looking to race in this year’s Pennsylvania Sire Stakes are reminded that many payments must be postmarked by Tuesday, May 15, in order to retain eligibility for the Sire Stakes.

 

Owners of PA-sired yearlings must send in payments of $50 for pari-mutuels and $5 for fairs to keep their babies eligible (you can nominate to one, the other, or both, and on one check). A copy of the yearling’s registration paper must accompany the nomination.

 

For 2 year olds, payments of $400 for pari-mutuel and $50 for fairs are due. If you sent in payments for these freshmen on March 15 and they are not going to race in the Sire Stakes in 2007, you do not have to make the May 15 payments to retain eligibility for the three-year-old campaign.

 

Three-year-old PA fair hopefuls have a $100 payment to be postmarked by Tuesday.

 

If you have any questions, please contact Jerry Connors or Fonda Civitello of the Sire Stakes office at our new and convenient toll-free number of 1 866 WIN IN PA. Calls to (717) 787 5539, or e-mails to gconnors@state.pa.us, will also be answered promptly.

 

Pari-mutuel Sire Stakes action for 2007 is already underway, with three-year-old trotting fillies racing at The Meadows last Saturday, and their pacing counterparts competing at the western PA oval tomorrow. (PHRC)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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