A recent story today focused on slot machines at Pennsylvania racetracks.
Thanks to more than $500 million in state slot machine taxes, a Pennsylvania horse-racing industry that was dying only a few years ago is now the envy of the nation.
The infusion of cash has nearly quadrupled purse money and put the Keystone State on the map.
Good news there. But how about for customers?
For our members who play harness racing they are not overly thrilled are they? When the tri and superfecta takeouts at Pocono are 35% why would they - that takeout is more than the Massachusetts state lottery!
How about for the thoroughbred tracks. Maybe they helped the customer with this massive influx of cash.
Well, Philadelphia Park is rated 63rd out of 72 tracks rated in North America in the HANA 2009 ratings. They received a takeout grade of "D".
Presque Isle must have done better so let's scan that sheet again. Whoops, no they did not. They are ranked 68th.
So a huge amount of slot cash and a "success story", huh? For HANA members who are horse owners it is a pretty good thing, for HANA members who are customers, it appears they have been left out.
Total handle in Pennsylvania fell 15.3% or almost $100 million between 2006 and 2008.