If Casino Stays Closed, Penn Racing to Hinge on Break-Even Handle

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The Pennsylvania Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (PHBPA) met with the management of Penn National Dec. 28 to come up with a contingency plan to keep racing going through January using purse money already “on deposit” in the event that Governor Tom Wolf's COVID-19-related closure of Penn's Hollywood Casino extends past the currently mandated Jan. 4. date.

“Penn National has agreed to continue live racing through [January], provided the handle generates a break-even scenario for the company,” Todd Mostoller, the PHBPA's executive director, wrote in a one-page memo to members issued Tuesday afternoon. “This is estimated to be a handle of roughly $1.4 million per night.”

Mostoller wrote that the PHBPA and Penn “are confident that we can achieve that handle level. Should we be unable to do so, however, Penn National management will likely wish to temporarily shut down racing.”

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