EAGAN, Minn., Jan. 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Minnesota legislature is focused on jobs and evidence is growing around the country that Racinos are doing just that. The economic benefit they provide is profound.
Twelve states are currently reaping the economic benefits of Racinos. Recent studies are showing the drastic impact that Racinos are having in developing rural and urban economies. They've created jobs in the construction industry, increased hospitality employment and expanded the number of agricultural jobs tied to the horse industry.
Pennsylvania is a good example of what kind of an economic shot in the arm a Racino can bring a state without raising taxes. There, Secretary of Agriculture Russell C. Redding recently issued a release documenting the economic benefits Racinos have brought the citizens of Pennsylvania. Racinos, authorized in Pennsylvania in 2006 as a part of Act 71, have created 44,000 equine-related jobs and boosted the overall value of the state's equine industry by $3.4 billion over the past four years. To read the full press release from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, visit: http://www.agriculture.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=18&objID=1022843&mode=2.
The release stated:
"Pennsylvania has gained national recognition for its quality horse and harness racing thanks to the support provided by Act 71, the addition of gaming at racetracks has exponentially increased purses paid to winning horses, allowing us to attract prestigious competitors and grow Pennsylvania's racing industry," said Redding. "Act 71 [has] encouraged investment in new farms, breeding stock, equipment, veterinary services and agricultural production, strengthening Pennsylvania's agricultural community,"
"Minnesota badly needs this type of legislation because Racinos are a job-creator unlike any regular casino. The job creation and economic benefits go well beyond the four walls of the Racino. Fence builders, veterinarians, horse transportation workers, farmers and breeders and many more individuals will benefit from these facilities. The positive impact of Racinos will be felt throughout every county of the state," said Dick Day, president of Racino Now.
The good news for Minnesota is that this economic engine is already in place and ready to churn out jobs throughout the entire state once the legislature passes a Racino bill.
"Thousands of individuals currently rely on the state's racing industry for their livelihood," said Scott Rake, president of the Minnesota Thoroughbred Association. "As other states continue to implement Racino legislation, we're seeing an increasing number of individuals leave the state of Minnesota to work in states that have Racinos. I fear that without Racino legislation, Minnesota will continue to lose these agricultural jobs to surrounding states."
In 2009 the Minnesota Racing Commission licensed 3,217 individuals to work at or for Minnesota's racetracks. However, that number is only a part of the total number of individuals working within the state's racing industry.
"The total number of licensees is only a portion of the total number of individuals that participate in the state's equine industry," said Rake. "Many farmers, breeders, farriers, veterinarians and other rural businesses are employed because of the state's racing industry."
Based on the proliferation of Racinos in other states, it's obvious that the growth, and ultimately the survival, of Minnesota's racing and equine industries is dependent on the passage of Racino legislation.
Several bills authorizing state-regulated Racinos are expected to be introduced in the coming weeks at the Minnesota Legislature.
Racino Now is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and improving business conditions for members of Minnesota's pari-mutuel horse racing industry. To learn more about Racino Now, please visit our website at www.racinonow.com.
SOURCE Racino Now