Ohio Rejects Racetrack Plans

Published: March 14, 2013 06:35 pm EDT

With the conclusion that the live horse racing product hasn't been emphasized enough, the Ohio State Racing Commission (OSRC) has rejected plans for two racetracks in the state.

According to an article on cleveland.com, Penn National Gaming Inc.'s plans to relocate harness racing at Toledo Raceway Park to Dayton and thoroughbred racing at Beulah Park to the Youngstown area were rejected on Tuesday by the commission due to its partiality towards its slots facilities over its live racing venue.

"We're upset that [Penn National] wants to open up a brand new horse racing facility that doesn't have adequate seating for people who want to watch the races," OSRC Chairman Robert K. Schmitz was quoted as saying in the article. "It certainly won't move horse racing forward in Ohio. What they proposed was a plan that included some seats that wouldn't let fans even see the racetrack. In some of the better seats, fans won't be able to see the finish line. There are areas where a patron couldn't watch a race from start to finish."

Penn National is seeking Ohio Lottery Commission approval for 1,500 video lottery terminals at the Dayton track and 1,000 at the Youngstown location.

The unsatisified OSRC has requested to see new design plans at its March 20 meeting.

The article also states that at Ohio's Northfield Park, for the first time in the track's 56-year history, the backstretch kitchen has been closed, and the clubhouse dining room is closed until summer weekends, frustrating horsemen hoping to get a bite to eat.

Northfield Park and Hard Rock International are partnering on a project, expected to cost up to $300 million, to build a gambling and entertainment complex at the track, with between 2,300 and 2,500 slot-like video lottery terminals.



It's so refreshing to see the regulator striving for the best interests of 'HORSE RACING'. Drive on OSRC

That’s the same way things started going bad at Windsor. First lower kitchen hours then no kitchen at all. Some track owners don't give a da## about horsepeople it's all about cutting and profit. I can remember at one time the general manager and his staff used to lunch at the backstretch kitchen daily. Wow that just reminded me how old I'm getting. Good luck people..........

Maybe the Ohio racing community will learn something from the debacle that the Ontario situation has become, and look for long-term stablility. You know, maybe that the tracks themselves help to improve the racing product.

Nice - I thought we had the only tracks that were so inconsiderate of the racing participants. You race, spend at least four hrs. at the track in the freezing cold, it's night and all you want is a hot coffee but alas, no kitchen and if there is it closed long before the last race.

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