They will be racing for less money this year in Pennsylvania as the Race Horse Development Fund (RHDF) has dropped 4.6% over the past six months. This will not only impact purses, breeders awards will also be reduced. Why the reduction in funding when there are more slot machine positions in the Commonwealth? The RHDF is credited with slot revenue only from machines at racinos. A standalone casino doesn't contribute anything to the RHDF.
Will this decline continue? In the immediate short term it is hard to say but with racetracks being moved to Eastern Ohio in the name of opening casinos, there should be a decline in revenue over the long run.
The Meadows showed an impressive increase in wagering in 2012. During the past meet, handle on-track went up roughly 22% while all-sources handle increased 15% during the year To be perfectly honest, with an average handle of $501,500 a day, the pools are still too small for most gamblers, especially with the high takeout rake. One has to wonder how the Meadows would be doing were their takeout rates more in line with the other tracks.
A movie with a harness racing backdrop? Amazing Racers is being released today (straight to video) and a particular chain has the early exclusive for purchase of or rental of the movie which used to go under the name of Shannon's Rainbow. You don't get too many movies with harness racing in it so I suggest you either rent or purchase the movie. Details of the movie may be found here.
Hey Brother, want to buy a track? To no one's surprise, Fort Erie Racetrack is up for sale. While FERT has applied for racing days in 2013, their lease is up this year unless it gets renewed. With slots being pulled from Fort Erie, I suspect there is a good chance racing will come to a halt there if a buyer is found soon enough.