Penn National Race Course, its business impacted by the COVID-19-related closure of its casino, has agreed to continue racing through January if sufficient pari-mutuel handle is achieved, according to a Pennsylvania horsemen representative.
Todd Mostoller, executive director of the Pennsylvania Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, posted on social media Dec. 29 that his organization met with track management Dec. 28 to discuss Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s public health-ordered casino shut down in the state.
“Penn National has agreed to continue live racing through (January) provided the handle generates a break-even scenario for the company. This is estimated to be a handle of roughly $1.4 million per night,” Mostoller wrote in a Twitter post from the Pennsylvania HBPA. “Both entities are confident 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.
“We encourage everyone to bet through Hollywoodraces.com. A bet placed on Penn National races through this ADW is treated the same as a wager placed on track, resulting in considerably higher revenue for both horsemen and management.”
Purses in Pennsylvania are subsidized by gaming revenue. The casino at Parx Racing, where racing is also ongoing in the state, is also closed as a safety precaution along with other indoor entertainment venues in Pennsylvania.