03/17/2014 3:17PM

West Virginia racing industries lose out on some slot-machine revenue


Legislators in West Virginia helped to close a budget gap for the next fiscal year by diverting 10 percent of the amount the state’s racing industries receive from slot machines to the state’s general fund.

The two houses of the state legislature approved the move as part of the $22.2 billion 2014-15 state budget passed Friday night. Gov. Earl Ray Tromblin is expected to sign the budget into law.

The state’s Thoroughbred and greyhound industries will lose about $21 million in annual funding through the budget provisions, according to government analysts. The bulk of that money, however, had not been collected by the racing industries for almost a decade.

In 2005, West Virginia’s legislature targeted racing subsidies to help pay off a multibillion-dollar debt in the state’s workers’ compensation program. The provision was to sunset when the debt had been paid down, but the budget passed Friday night made the redirection permanent, to the amount of approximately $11 million a year.

Also under the bill, purses and breeder subsidies will be reduced by approximately $5 million for each breed in 2015, while the state’s racetracks will lose approximately $1 million in the Racetrack Modernization Fund, which partially reimburses tracks for capital expenditures from the state’s slot-machine revenue.

robet little t tuccille More than 1 year ago
they need to cut all tracks cause the horse men treat this as there piggy bank!!! bad race should not be the gold of the sport!! 4,000 claimers should not be racing.. but look at all the tracks with slots alot of that goes to bad bad racing!!! they need to cut the bad tracks and bad races out if that means less days so be it all the tracks need to work together..take out and stuff need to be fixed if the slots are paying the racing why is the tak out not begging lower? horsemen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
mikey More than 1 year ago
When you go to these tracks the ratio of casino to track must be 10-1
Walter More than 1 year ago
True. Giving big purses to slow horses does nothing for the sport. I've said it for many years. Also not sure what giving a 1.5 million dollar purse does for CT either. Slots have been a bonanza for a few, track owners, trainers, and a few jocks. Does nothing for the horseplayer.
Patricia Doyle More than 1 year ago
problem is tracjs think they need the slot money. They will try to make up that lost revenue by hitting us with increases in take out, higher admission and increases in all prices like parking. As for 4,000 claiming races, we don't have to bet them.
Kevin Miller More than 1 year ago
The reason for racing cheap horses is two fold: Year round racing and the use of legal drugs.
Howard Schwartz More than 1 year ago
The day racing because an orphan to slots is the day it signed its death warrant. They have had 10 years to get their act together to attract fans and have done nothing. Most days you could shoot a shotgun thru the grandstand and not hit anyone. At least Charles Town is clean unlike other local tracks I have been to. And I believe the stewards to be fair. Unlike other tracks I read about.
mikey More than 1 year ago
Only a matter of time till every state treat this like a piggy bank.
Mark D More than 1 year ago
Way to go Charles Town Managment. They are cuting back on the Breeder Subsidies....but you have the wiisdon of giving Baffert $1.5 million to bring in Game on Dude for one day...and bring his horse and his $$$$ back to California.
Hadrian Marcus More than 1 year ago
Charles Town has two signature events, two grade stakes...the Charles Town Classic and the Charles Town Oaks. The elevated handle and the promotional value for these events more than payoff in the long run. Otherwise...Charles Town is just an Suffolk Downs or Will Rogers Downs. Supporting West Virginia breeding...is an important thing...but its not the ONLY thing.
Bryan More than 1 year ago
Exactly Hadrian. God forbid you have a big race that people pay attention to as opposed to running more cheap WV bred races. Not to mention the article clearly says it was the legislature who reduced the breeders subsidies. Wasn't the track. Amazing.
Biggar W More than 1 year ago
I thought that Baffert had to have the winner in the race and that other trainers could bring in their runners. I also thought that the winner only got 60% of the purse. What the heck do I know.
Matthew Ellis More than 1 year ago
Besides Game on Dude is a pretty good racehorse. The Breeders Cup Favorite I don't think anyone let him win.