A shift in slot machine revenue from horse racing to other programs in Pennsylvania is set to expire this summer, and the Pennsylvania Equine Coalition Jan. 8 urged lawmakers to honor the sunset provision.
The coalition, which represents horse owners, breeders, and trainers in the state, noted in a release the amount of revenue from slots paid to the Race Horse Development Fund dropped $6.36 million, or 4.6%, in the second half of 2012. The coalition said it marks "the most significant decline in the history of the fund," which was part of the 2004 law authorizing casino gambling in Pennsylvania.
The loss is on top of a legislated revenue diversion that began in January 2010, when 34% of RHDF revenue was shifted to the state general fund. That amount dropped to 17% in July 2010 and is scheduled to expire June 30, 2013.
"For the past four years the equine racing industry has seen the state divert more than $200 million from the Race Horse Development Fund to augment the general fund," said Pete Peterson, a spokesman for the equine coalition. "Given the current revenue trends for the Race Horse Development Fund, the equine coalition calls on the legislature to allow the current diversion of funds from the fund to terminate as promised when enacted."
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