PA Gaming Control Board Reports Low Numbers
Pennsylvania is a state that has long held high profile racing for a number of years now. The gaming in the state is slowing down though. It is no secret that race track gambling has been down since the recession. More and more people are cutting gambling out of their weekly budgets, and racing is one major part of that. Race track owners have been trying to come up with ways to spur on their numbers and revive their markets. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is doing just that, but noted that racing in the state is down by 25% since the same time two years ago. Numbers are so far down that owners are worried that the market cannot be restored without some serious changes and modifications of what they offer. In the year 2009, Pennsylvania brought in $235 million in gambling revenues thanks to the racing industry. That was a huge amount and many legislators and comptrollers started to rely on that money. They earmarked it for the future budget items and counted on it to be a steady form of revenue. Unfortunately that was not to be. Legislators quickly learned that racing is as reliable as gambling in the market. It is dependent on discretionary funds and when customers ended up in the unemployment lines, gambling was one of the first things cut out of their budgets. This put race tracks in defensive positions with few ways to turn things around.
The only thing that is offering hope to the state’s control board is slot machines. Slots are credited with keeping the racing market of the state alive, if not kicking. The market is suffering and slots seem to be the only thing that is making even a dent in it. If anything can save the market, slots should be it. Pennsylvania is not alone though—it seems that tall states right now have race track markets that are dwindling. It may take time to spur on the market, or it could be necessary for companies to increase their slots gaming and diminish their racing altogether. It is possible that racing is a dying sport and there are no ways to revive them post recession.