Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Agribusiness




James Ahern


Since 1978 casino and gaming facilities in the United States have grown substantially. Drawing outside customers has helped to improve the local communities surrounding the gaming facilities. In a similar fashion, United States horse racing aims at increasing traffic and wagering at race tracks throughout the United States (but unlike casinos little expansion). Along with the fiscal impact to the United States, the horse racing industry has created thousands of jobs, and the industry is experiencing continual growth in nominal gross wagering. Many state’s have breeder programs that enhance purses and horses bred and raced in- state. The goal of this research was to assess whether these state bred event days (SBED) attendance and/or wagering were comparable to controls, the proximal weeks. Data was collected over a three year period and included sixteen states with such programs. The data was analyzed using ordinary least squares regression methods. Two models were run, an on-track wagering model, and an attendance model on a set of structural variables. In the on-track wagering model positive variables, including purse levels, change in track venue, and SBED concurrent with a major national race day (Triple Crown or Breeders’ Cup days), were associated with an increase in on-track wagering. California and New York SBED experienced significant increases in on- track wagering over open race days. The attendance model had similar results. While SBED programs are not used in every state, their overall contribution to horse racing is apparent and substantial. The enhancement and introduction of new well planned SBED programs in United States racing jurisdictions might increase attendance and wagering.

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Agribusiness Commons