Pa. auditor general warns of horse racing fund’s viability

    Pennsylvania’s elected financial watchdog is sounding a note of concern over the financial viability of a public fund that pays to regulate the state’s horse racing industry.Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said Wednesday the State Racing Fund faces increasing challenges and steps should be taken to keep the racing industry from what he calls significant jeopardy.

    A report by DePasquale’s agency concluded the state Agriculture Department took $873,000 from the fund over three years to plug budget holes and spent about $5 million over four years for personnel costs that lacked appropriate documentation.

    A response by Agriculture Secretary George Greig said regulating the industry is increasingly expensive while track wagering has been declining. It’s incorrect to claim his department uses the racing fund simply to balance its budget, Grieg said.

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