Thursday, January 04, 2007

Public Health, Horses, and Money

When discussing public health, one generally tends to think solely in terms of human health: bird flu, E. coli in spinach, and so on. In a story from last week (yeah, I'm playing catch-up here), ESPN reported about three thoroughbred racetracks near near San Francisco being quarantined for equine herpes virus.

Now, as silly as this may seem, it does have potentially severe implications, not only for the local economy, but even maybe nationally.

Obviously, with two of the tracks being closed (there is apparently racing at one), the track employees are on at least short-term lay-off, with no income. Additionally, there is no wagering taking place, and no racegoers heading out for a cold one after the races, affecting the surrounding communities.

Should the virus manage to spread outside the quarantined area, additional tracks could be forced to close, further extending the economic impact.

To put this in some sort of perspective, in 2005, the State of Ohio brought in $14.3 million in tax revenues, on total wagering of $474 million. And that's just Ohio.

Some other fast figures:

That's some serious buckage potentially at risk.

No comments:

Post a Comment