Bets at Pa. horse tracks rose 12 percent in 2012

Gaming officials say the horse industry continues to benefit from casino revenue

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania gaming regulators say the amount of money wagered at the state's horse racing tracks rose 12 percent last year to $776.9 million.

The state has six horse-racing tracks and last year's total is the highest since the state start of slot-machine gambling in 2006.

Gaming Control Board Chairman William Ryan Jr. says the report out Wednesday shows the horse racing industry continues to benefit from revenue generated by casinos.

A portion of the total revenue generated from slot machines is earmarked for the horse-racing industry.

Last year, slot machine tax revenue generated about $272 million for the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development Fund; officials say about $224 million of that was earmarked for the horse-racing industry, going toward purses, breeding operations, health and pension benefits for horsemen and other things.

There are six horseracing tracks in Pa:

Pocono Downs in Wilkes Barrre;

Penn National in Dauphin County near Harrisburg;

Harrah's Philadelphia Racetrack in Philadelphia;

Parx Racing in Bensalem, Bucks County;

The Meadows in Meadow Lands, just north of Washington and 

Presque Isle Downs in Erie.

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