West Virginia’s thoroughbred and greyhound racing industries generate approximately $321 million in business volume in the state’s economy and support more than 7,300 jobs in the state, according to new research from the Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) at the West Virginia University College of Business and Economics.

A study conducted by BBER focused on the 2012 calendar year at the state’s two thoroughbred and two greyhound racetracks: Hollywood Casino at Charleston Town Races (thoroughbred); Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort (thoroughbred); Mardi Gras Casino and Resort (greyhound); and Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack (greyhound).

These industries, together with their suppliers and employees, generate more than $100 million in income to workers in West Virginia, according to the study. This employment figure is equivalent to more than 10 percent of employment in the state’s leisure and hospitality sector. The study also noted that the industries represent approximately 12 percent of the leisure and hospitality sector total business volume to the West Virginia economy. Additionally, the report estimated that the overall economic impact of the racing industries generated approximately $4.6 million in state tax revenue to West Virginia.

John Deskins, Director of the BBER and co-author of the study, will present the findings of the study in the Capitol Rotunda in Charleston on Tuesday, Jan. 21, at 9 a.m.

“Our research indicates that the spending generated by the thoroughbred and greyhound racing industries generates important impacts to the state in terms of employment and business volume, and in terms of taxes returned to the state,” said Deskins.

The research was based on a survey of racing industry participants during the summer of 2013.

The report also details trends in revenue for owners and trainers in the racing industries. Revenue for these racing industry participants comes primarily from purses, which are paid to winning dogs and horses, and breeder development funds. Though some races have seen record purses in recent years, total purses from pari-mutuel betting have been diminishing over the last decade. In Fiscal Year 2013, total revenue from video lottery terminals and table games was down 13 percent from the year before.

Full details are available in the printed publication available from the WVU Bureau of Business and Economic Research for free download in PDF format at be.wvu.edu/bber. Visit be.wvu.edu/bber/publications.aspx to view other publications by the BBER.



CONTACT: John Deskins, Ph.D., WVU College of Business and Economics
304.293.7876, John.Deskins@mail.wvu.edu

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