Indiana Horse Racing Is a $2 Billion Industry, Study Finds – Indianapolis Business Journal

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Indiana’s horse racing industry has more than doubled in value over the past decade — an increase attributed to the state’s ongoing investments in horse racing and breeding, according to a Purdue University study released Tuesday.

Indiana’s horse racing and horse breeding industry contributed $933 million to the state’s economy and generated $1.44 billion in economic activity in 2021, according to the study.

Overall, the industry’s total economic footprint eclipsed nearly $2 billion in 2021, according to the study.

The findings were based on economic impact data combined with input from racetrack owners and more than 600 people involved in the state’s racing and breeding industry, researchers said.

“We’ve seen a lot of new farm development in recent years, particularly around Horseshoe Indianapolis (Track and Casin0),” said Joe Davis, president of the Indiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, in written comments. “We knew there had been a significant increase in our industry, but had no idea it had totaled $2 billion.”

Between 2007 and 2020, Indiana saw a 59 percent increase in the number of horses owned, trained, or bred in the state.

Hoosiers placed bets totaling more than $380 million at Indiana’s two racetracks – Hoosier Park in Anderson and Indiana Downs in Shelbyville – resulting in $129 million and $77 million in tax revenues state and local tax revenues.

“We are committed to taking Indiana’s horse racing industry to a higher level,” said Joe Morris, senior vice president of racing for Caesars Entertainment, which owns both Harrah’s Hoosier Park and Horseshoe Indianapolis. “Our goal is to continue to elevate all three breeds into the national horse racing conversation.”

Horse racing has been a part of Indiana’s history since its incorporation into county fairs in the late 1800’s. In the 1930s, the Indiana State Fair expanded its offerings to include horse racing. In 1994, state legislatures passed legislation legalizing wagering on horse racing, leading to a surge in breeding and racing programs statewide.

Purdue previously conducted an analysis of the industry’s economic impact in 2010 and found that it had a total of more than $1 billion in economic impact.

The horse racing and horse breeding industry employs approximately 2,000 people in Indiana.