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Funds running low for horse racing at Mountaineer

Updated: Monday, August 25 2014, 07:03 PM EDT
HANCOCK COUNTY, W.Va. -- Within the past couple of months, Mountaineer Racetrack has been experiencing financial hardships. And now it looks like the only way to stay afloat is to put racing on hold in December.
"We put in a request with the West Virginia Racing Commission to reduce days in December,” said Rose Mary Williams, director of racing at Mountaineer. “We were scheduled to run 14 days in December, but our purse fund is depleting, so we ask that we reduce those days and not run in December."
That proposal was turned down by the commission.
Mountaineer began experience trouble in May and July. The racetrack’s purse funds rely heavily on revenue from video lottery and table gambling, but a new law that took effect in July cut an estimated $2.5 million annually from the horsemen’s purse fund and another $1.6 million was taken to restore children’s programming.
That's a loss of more than $4 million dollars.
Williams is left to find ways to save and salvage what’s left of the remaining funds.  
"We implemented a purse reduction of 10 percent,” Williams said. “We started that august the 16th and we will go to eight races starting August 25th."
The WVRC cut one race per day from Mountaineer’s racing schedule in hopes that racing will be able to continue throughout December, but Williams doesn’t think they’ll make it that far.
"When we run out of money, we will no longer have to race,” Williams said. “So with that said, when we run out, which will probably be in November -- maybe sooner -- we no longer have to race."

Funds running low for horse racing at Mountaineer

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