The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

World, nation, state

May 13, 2013

Ohio horse racing industry shows signs of comeback

DAYTON — Ohio’s horse racing industry is showing signs of rebounding.

Race horse breeding in Ohio is on the upswing after years of decline as gambling rules are allowing tracks to add slots-like gambling that will pump millions into the horse industry.

Some tracks are renovating to add the video terminal games while others are building new entirely tracks.

It all means more money for horse racing.

“We’re just seeing a glimmer of the future. It’s bright,” Bob Schmitz, chairman of the Ohio State Racing Commission told The Dayton Daily News.

The expansion of gambling is expected to bring $10 million a year from casino revenue taxes and an estimated $1 million a month from video lottery play for the horse industry.

The United States Trotting Association says the number of standardbred mares bred to Ohio stallions in 2012 more than doubled over the year before.

“Most of this is just anticipation, because there is only one harness track open as a racino,” said Jerry Knappenberger, general manager of the Ohio Harness Horseman’s Association. “For every horse, there’s a big financial multiplier. You need more products, hay and tack, more veterinarians, trainers and drivers.”

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