Penn National

Pennsylvania Casinos Reopen Monday

Pennsylvania casinos have been greenlighted to reopen as of Monday, Jan. 4, rekindling revenue streams that fund Thoroughbred purses in the state. Governor Tom Wolf announced Dec. 30 that because COVID-19 mitigation efforts have been working to tamp down the spread of the pandemic, he will allow more stringent safety restrictions that went into effect Dec. 12 to expire as planned. But that doesn't mean a full-blown opening for the 13 casinos in the state: Mitigation efforts will roll back to what they were on Dec. 11, which still caps...

[ Read More ]
If Casino Stays Closed, Penn Racing to Hinge on Break-Even Handle

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...

[ Read More ]
Problems Persist with Gmax Timing System

Despite a press release in late August from Equibase in which the company announced it would be conducting an "extensive analysis" of its Gmax timing system, the technology has continued to produce a number of inaccurate times at the racetracks it services. The TDN has found recent examples from Del Mar, Tampa Bay Downs and Penn National that show there were problems with the Gmax timing of the races. Gmax, which is operated in the U.S. by Equibase, relies on Global Positioning System (GPS) to record times, as well as...

[ Read More ]
PETA Buys Stock in Racetracks

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, a longtime critic of many of the practices in horse racing, has purchased stock in four companies which own racetracks--VICI Properties, Boyd Gaming, Penn National Gaming, and Gaming and Leisure Properties—in order to make their case in the boardroom, according to a press release from the organization. The release says that, "PETA's proposed changes include replacing dirt tracks with high-quality synthetic ones, banning trainers who have multiple medication violations, and banning whipping. Tracks will be encouraged to work with state racing authorities when...

[ Read More ]
HBPA Aims for Penn National to Open Before Casino at Same Purse Levels

The Pennsylvania Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (PHBPA) has agreed in principle with the management of Penn National to resume spectator-free racing at the track prior to the opening of Hollywood Casino if Governor Tom Wolf gives approval. "When racing resumes, our board is committed to maintaining the same daily purse structure," Todd Mostoller, the PHBPA's executive director, wrote in a one-page memo to members issued Wednesday afternoon. "The number of days raced will be adjusted as needed." Mostoller added that he has received assurance from the governor's office that...

[ Read More ]
Penn Mile and Oaks Canceled

The GII $500,000 Penn Mile S. as well as the $200,000 Penn Oaks, $100,000 Pennsylvania Governor's Cup and $100,000 7 Forty 3 S., all scheduled to take place at Penn National May 30, have been canceled, according to a press release distributed via Twitter by the Pennsylvania H.B.P.A. A quartet of Pennsylvania-bred stakes races originally slated for Penn Mile day will be rescheduled. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf previously announced a plan that calls for the state to reopen in stages, and in Pennsylvania's case, red, yellow and green phases. He...

[ Read More ]
Letter to the Editor: Bob Hutt, Part Two

Pennsylvania's Governor Wolf hosts a radio show in which he answers questions from his constituency. I sent the following question, which he failed to address. "Dear Governor Wolf, Have you thought about the potential ramifications of your proposal to raid the protected horse racing and breeding fund that you signed into law back in 2017? If so, how do you explain the loss of 20,000 jobs and an industry that has a $1.6-billion economic impact and contributes $68 million in taxes annually? Thank You." I would like everyone who loves...

[ Read More ]
Pennsylvania Breeders Reeling But Determined to Fight Back

A day after receiving the potentially devastating news that as much as 80% of the slots money that goes to purses in the state of Pennsylvania may be diverted elsewhere, leaders of the state's breeding industry began to plot a campaign that they hope will convince politicians that the industry must be protected. Tuesday, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf unveiled a budget proposal which called for $204 million to be taken out of the Race Horse Development Fund and diverted to a program that would provide college scholarships for Pennsylvania residents....

[ Read More ]
Pennsylvania Governor Seeking to Raid Slots Money That Goes to State Tracks

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf submitted his 2020-2021 budget Tuesday, which called for a massive cut in the amount of money that goes to horse racing from slots proceeds. Wolf is seeking to take $204 million away from the Race Horse Development Fund, which totals about $250 million. Such a move would prove devastating to racing and breeding industries, as slot money accounts for 88% of the total purses. "This scheme would destroy an industry that provides a $1.6-billion economic impact and supports an estimated 16,000 to 23,000 jobs in the...

[ Read More ]
Penn National Acquires Interest in Barstool Sports

Penn National Gaming, Inc. has entered into an agreement to acquire a 36% interest in Barstool Sports, Inc., a digital sports media company, for approximately $163 million in cash and convertible preferred stock. Under the agreement, Penn National will be Barstool Sports' exclusive gaming partner for up to 40 years and have the sole right to utilize the Barstool Sports brand for all of the company's online and retail sports betting and iCasino products. Penn National's initial investment for 36% of the equity of Barstool Sports is comprised of approximately...

[ Read More ]