Revenue from slot machines at the Hollywood Casino in Perryville, Md., and the Casino at Ocean Downs in Berlin, Md., will allow Laurel Park to raise purses by an average of $26,000 per day, the Maryland Jockey Club said Friday evening.
Laurel’s average daily overnight purse target is now $186,000, up 16 percent from a previous average of $160,000. Laurel's Winter Meet began on Jan. 1.
"This will give our racing office a chance to compete with surrounding states who have used revenue from slot machines to become significant players in the mid-Atlantic region," said Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas in a news release. "The purse increase should mean larger and more competitive fields, meaning a boost in interest on our product from bettors around the country."
The average field size for the first 12 days of the meet has been 7.3 horses per race. Live racing shifts to Pimlico Race Course on Apr. 1.