New Legislation Threatens Continued Investment In Our Community!
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Beyond the Paddock
Real People...Real Jobs...Real Impact!
February 26, 2015
Charles Town Race Track
We've Built This Community On Hard Work, Commitment & Trust.  Now Certain Legislation Threatens Continued Investment In Our Community! 

Don't Let That Happen. Read The Legislative History & Timeline Below & Then Reach Out To Your Representative & Tell Them How You Feel Today ! 

Our Futures Might Depend On It!
Real People...Real Jobs...Real Impact!
Promises have been made in the past. The below legislation breaks that trust and if passed would have a very negative impact on our business community!

Senate Bill 543 moves all thoroughbred purse and development funds from racetrack video lottery and table games to general legislative appropriation, subjecting these funds to the whims of the legislative appropriation process. People have relied on the stability of these funds for continued investment in West Virginia.

Senate Bill 563 eliminates the requirement of live racing at racetrack casinos.  This bill reneges on the legislative intent and premise of the local option racetrack video lottery and table games referendums. 
Both Senate Bills 543 and 563 would ensure that investments in the horse racing and breeding communities would discontinue.  Promises made by the legislative intent and local referendum option would be eliminated under this proposed legislation.
Please see the legislative history and timeline below:
1993: Legislature authorizes racetrack video lottery.
1994:  Kanawha, Ohio, and Hancock Counties approve racetrack VLT referendums; Jefferson County rejects racetrack VLTs.
1995: Legislature changes racetrack VLT law to guarantee 15.5% to horse racing and breeding interests.
1996: Penn National Gaming Inc. tenders a contract to purchase Charles Town Races contingent upon approval of Jefferson County racetrack VLT referendum.
1996: Jefferson County approves racetrack VLT referendum.
2001: Legislature authorizes excess video lottery law which is not adjusted for inflation.
2005: Legislature takes $11 million annually from racetrack purses to pay workers' compensation deficit reduction fund.
2007: Legislature approves racetrack table games legislation.
2007: Kanawha, Ohio and Hancock Counties approve racetrack table games referendums; Jefferson County rejects racetrack tables games referendum.
2008: Legislature changes racetrack table games law to keep more revenue in Jefferson County for horsemen and women.
2009: Jefferson County approves racetrack table games referendum.
2014: “Haircut” bill passes taking 10% from racing and breeding funds while subjecting some of these funds to appropriations.
2015:  ???
Do  You Know The Legislative Intent For  
Race Track Video Lottery and Table Games?

The legislative intent of racetrack video lottery and table games is to protect and preserve the horse racing and breeding industries and its agricultural and employment components, to protect and enhance the tourism industry, and to indirectly benefit other segments of the economy.

§29-22A-2. Legislative findings and declarations.
(e) The purpose of this article is to define and provide specific standards for the operation of video lottery games at pari-mutuel racing facilities licensed by the state racing commission pursuant to article twenty-three, chapter nineteen of this code. The Legislature finds and declares that the existing pari-mutuel racing facilities in West Virginia provide a valuable tourism resource for this state and provide significant economic benefits to the citizens of this state through the provision of jobs and the generation of state revenues; that this valuable tourism resource is threatened because of a general decline in the racing industry and because of increasing competition from racing facilities and lottery products offered by neighboring states; and that the survival of West Virginia's pari-mutuel racing industry is in jeopardy unless modern lottery games are authorized at the racetracks.

29-22C-2. State authorization of table games at licensed racetrack facilities; legislative findings and declarations.
Legislative findings: 

(1) The Legislature finds that horse racing and dog racing and breeding play a critical role in the economy of this state, enhance the revenue collected at the racetracks, contribute vital revenues to the counties and municipalities in which the activities are conducted, provide for significant employment and protect and preserve green space and; that a substantial state interest exists in protecting these industries. Furthermore, it finds that the breeding and racing of thoroughbred horses is an integral part of West Virginia's agriculture, and that agriculture is a critical ingredient in West Virginia's economy. It further finds that the operation of table games pursuant to this article, at racetracks in this state that hold racetrack video lottery licenses and licenses to conduct horse or dog racing, will protect and preserve the horse racing and dog racing industries and horse and dog breeding industries, will protect and enhance the tourism industry in this state and indirectly benefit other segments of the economy of this state.

We Need Your Help!
The Reduction of purse money will have a negative impact on our community & we need to do something about it! 
Please contact your legislators and tell them to not participate in a bait and switch on horse racing and breeding communities!

Here are a some things you can do to help:

1) Share this newsletter with your friends by clicking on the social media icons below.

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3) Share your thoughts with us by clicking here or by clicking on the blue button below.  

To contact your local Senator click here for easy access to their email address and contact information. 

5) To contact your local Delegates click here for easy access to their email address and contact information. 

Real People...Real Jobs...Real Impact
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Get the facts about the estimated impact on our community from the January 2014 West Virginia University Economic Impact Study. 
This study estimates the total economic impact of the thoroughbred horse 
racing industry on the West Virginia economy. 

You can read the full summary by clicking here.

Some key findings:

1) The thoroughbred racing industry in West Virginia contributes more than $257 million in total business volume to the state’s economy. To provide some context, this level of output constitutes about 12 percent of the leisure and hospitality sector statewide.

2) The industries support more than 5,840 jobs in West Virginia. This figure is equivalent to about 10 percent of employment in the state’s leisure and hospitality sector.

3) The industries generate more than $100 million in total employee compensation.

4) The industries generate $4.6 million in total state tax revenue.

5) Approximately 11 percent of the total business volume impact of the industries that is experienced within the state is outside of the four racing counties.

You can read the full summary by clicking here.
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