December 2013 Issue - page 7

PENNSYLVANIA EQUESTRIAN
December 2013
Page 7
Each issue of
Pennsylvania Equestrian
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Four PA Senators
Want to Amend
Rules Governing
Horse Racing
for development of the casino
industry in Pennsylvania; yet
it’s hard to find any mention of
horse racing in the television and
print ads promoting the casinos.
The reform would authorize
a surcharge on the purses to
subsidize marketing the industry.
Rader says that they’re hop-
ing the senators’ memo calling
for amending the 1981 law will
start a conversation among all
the stakeholders in the industry.
“The gaming act requires that
the casinos do indeed market
racing. Obviously they have an
interest in their entire opera-
tion,” he says. He says the intent
is to get everybody at the table
to make the industry stronger.
“Quite honestly, if there’s no
enforcement, there’s no racing.
If there’s no racing, there’s no
casino. Everyone has skin in the
game on this one.”
Jeb Hannum, Executive Sec-
retary of the Pennsylvania Horse
Breeders Association (PHBA),
says that everyone agrees that
everyone has a role in improv-
ing the industry. “The PHBA
welcomes legislation which will
improve the quality of racing
and the breeders recognize that
a well-funded regulatory body
is critical to ensure the public’s
confidence as well as to attract
the country’s leading trainers
and owners to the state.” He says
the inadequacies of the existing
Racing Act are inhibiting growth.
“Unfortunately, the funding
model for the Racing Commis-
sions is outdated which has led
to a broader discussion as to
where the racing industry is best
regulated.”
One part of the marketing
equation is the possible addi-
tion of new ways to increase
the handle. Internet wagering
is legal in other states, and the
four senators are hoping to see
if it would benefit Pennsylva-
nia’s racing industry. “Internet
wagering is not authorized, but
it occurs,” Rader says. “We
need to capture the wagers for
fairness to make sure that we’re
overseeing the industry appro-
priately.”
There are a lot of threads
woven into Pennsylvania’s
enormous and successful horse
racing industry. Reform may
come slowly, but it’s clear that
30 year-old regulations are not
adequate for this fast-changing
industry. “There is no ques-
tion the Racing Act needs to be
updated and the PHBA looks
forward to an ongoing dialogue
with the Legislature,” Hannum
says.
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