Wednesday, July 15, 2009

$100M Gone from Pennsylvania Racing?

Bloodhorse reported today that because of a budget shortfall, up to $100 million could be taken from racing in the Keystone State. This money comes from slot machines.

The Pennsylvania horse racing and breeding industry is fighting proposed legislation that could take roughly $100 million from the Race Horse Development Fund and use it to help balance the state budget, which is billions of dollars short.

The $100 million would come from purses and breed development programs for Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds.

I remember reading Seth Godin's blog awhile back, or perhaps it was in one of his books. The newspaper industry, all the way back in the early 2000's, invited him to speak to them at a conference. His presentation said to them (paraphrasing) 'if they do not get their act together half of them won't be around in ten years'. His warning was met with a yawn, because money was good and everything looked fine.

It is not much different in racing. Money was good and everything looked fine several years ago. Many, many people warned that governments were going to take slot money away sooner or later. I personally thought it would take 15 years. It looks like it has taken about five.

This will not be the last time we see headlines like this. They are only starting. I hope this industry moves forward on working on their customer base, because someday in the future, racings customers will be all they will have left.

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