Del. Horsemen to be Affected by Decision Made about Casino Indus - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. Horsemen to be Affected by Decision Made about Casino Industry

Posted:

DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - Casinos in Delaware have been going back and forth with lawmakers for months over what to do with the ailing casino industry in the First State. Caught in the middle are the horsemen.

Delaware legalized gambling in the 90s to help save the horse racing industry. The horsemen get a 10-percent cut of casino revenue. That money goes into race purses at Harrington, Delaware Park and Dover Downs.

The harness racing season at Dover Downs started this week. And the potential effects of what's going on at Legislative Hall isn't lost on the people there for that, like George Dennis.

Dennis is an owner, driver and trainer. He remembers the good times and the bad times for horse racing in the First State.

"I was here driving and racing when we were going for $500 purses," he said. "The slots came in. That had a big impact. It helped the whole industry."

But slot revenues, the backbone of Delaware's casino industry, have dropped dramatically since 2007. Sal DiMario, executive director of the Delaware Standardbred Owners Association, says that's affected racing purses.

"Our purse revenues are down about 30 to 35 percent from their high in 2007. They've been eroded slowly each year," DiMario said. "Because the horsemen's purse account is tied into revenue from the casino, when they get cut, we bleed. So, we're all suffering through this."

DiMario is working to make sure lawmakers remember the horsemen as they debate the topic in the Lottery and Gaming Study Commission, which met earlier this week.

"We're impacted," he said. "We are trying to do as much as we can to work with the state."

DiMario expects a continued decline in slot revenue, and thus purse size, if nothing changes. And he says once things go too far down, it won't be possible to pull on the reins hard enough to bring them back up.

"There's a will to try to get something done. We'll have to wait and see what the end formulation is, what they decide to do."

It's something that Dennis will be keeping an eye on.

"Hopefully they'll come up with a good solution that won't impact our industry," Dennis said. "It's a big industry."

The Lottery and Gaming Study Commission will continue its work as winter nears. It owes a report and recommendation to the full General Assembly by the end of January.

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Payment Card Felony Prompts Search by Lewes Police

    Payment Card Felony Prompts Search by Lewes Police

    Jan 20, 2018 6:37 PM2018-01-20 23:37:00 GMT
    Saturday, January 20 2018 8:06 PM EST2018-01-21 01:06:15 GMT
    Lewes police are searching for a suspect wanted for one felony count of unlawful use of a payment card over $1,500.More
    Lewes police are searching for a suspect wanted for one felony count of unlawful use of a payment card over $1,500.  More
  • Man Arrested in Connection to Vehicle Thefts

    Man Arrested in Connection to Vehicle Thefts

    Jan 20, 2018 6:49 PM2018-01-20 23:49:00 GMT
    Saturday, January 20 2018 6:49 PM EST2018-01-20 23:49:18 GMT
    Delaware State Police have arrested a Dover man in connection with three motor vehicle thefts in the High Point Mobile Home Park area.More
    Delaware State Police have arrested a Dover man in connection with three motor vehicle thefts in the High Point Mobile Home Park area.More
  • Plans Being Made for Arts and Entertainment District in Crisfield

    Plans Being Made for Arts and Entertainment District in Crisfield

    Jan 20, 2018 5:40 PM2018-01-20 22:40:00 GMT
    Saturday, January 20 2018 5:40 PM EST2018-01-20 22:40:40 GMT
    Crisfield, Md.- The arts are fighting to come alive in Downtown Crisfield. You may not realize if you're just passing through, but painters, musicians, sculptors, and other artists are all waiting to show off their work. And showing off that work could soMore
    Crisfield, Md.- The arts are fighting to come alive in Downtown Crisfield. You may not realize if you're just passing through, but painters, musicians, sculptors, and other artists are all waiting to show off their work. And showing off that work could soMore
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • Ocean City Responds to Lawsuit Against Topless Ordinance

    Ocean City Responds to Lawsuit Against Topless Ordinance

    The town of Ocean City is at the center of a new lawsuit that challenges an ordinance that prohibits women from being topless in public. 

    Five plaintiffs want to go topless on the beach and their lawyer says the town's ordinance violates the 14th amendment.

    More

    The town of Ocean City is at the center of a new lawsuit that challenges an ordinance that prohibits women from being topless in public. 

    Five plaintiffs want to go topless on the beach and their lawyer says the town's ordinance violates the 14th amendment.

    More
  • Veteran Receives Free Home With "Notes of Love"

    Veteran Receives Free Home With "Notes of Love"

    MILTON, Del.- A New Jersey veteran and his family haven't moved yet to Sussex County, but they've already been welcomed home. Retired Army medic Sgt. Shaun O'Brien is receiving a free home in Milton as part of the national non-profit Operation Finally Hom

    More

    MILTON, Del.- A New Jersey veteran and his family haven't moved yet to Sussex County, but they've already been welcomed home. Retired Army medic Sgt. Shaun O'Brien is receiving a free home in Milton as part of the national non-profit Operation Finally Hom

    More
  • Salisbury Zoo Introduces Pinocchio the Bear to the Public

    Salisbury Zoo Introduces Pinocchio the Bear to the Public

    Today's the day many people along Delmarva's peninsula have waited months for. Pinocchio the Andean Bear made his debut at the Salisbury Zoo. And WBOC's Caroline Coles was there as Pinocchio adjusted to his new life here in Salisbury.

    More

    Today's the day many people along Delmarva's peninsula have waited months for. Pinocchio the Andean Bear made his debut at the Salisbury Zoo. And WBOC's Caroline Coles was there as Pinocchio adjusted to his new life here in Salisbury.

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices