Harrington Raceway & Casino

Harrington Raceway & Casino is a harness racing track and casino (a "racino") located on the fairgrounds of the Delaware State Fair, just south of Harrington, Delaware, 16 miles (26 km) south of Dover. The casino, formerly known as Midway Slots, has over 1,800 slot machines, table games, simulcasting, and sports betting. In addition, the venue promotes and hosts concerts and other similar entertainment revues. Multiple dining options including a buffet are available as well.

Harrington Raceway & Casino
Harrington Raceway & Casino logo.png
Harrington Raceway & Casino is located in Delaware
Harrington Raceway & Casino
Harrington Raceway & Casino in Delaware
Location Kent County, Delaware, United States
Address 18500 South DuPont Highway
Opening date1946 (racetrack)
1996 (casino)
Casino typeRacino
OwnerHarrington Raceway, Inc.
Previous namesMidway Slots at Harrington Raceway
Renovated in2010 (addition of table games)
Websiteharringtonraceway.com

The racino is owned and operated by Harrington Raceway, Inc., which is majority-owned by the Delaware State Fair, a non-profit organization.[1][2]

RacingEdit

Harrington Raceway runs approximately 70 days of live racing per year, split between a spring meet and an autumn meet.[3][4] Races are generally held Monday through Wednesday evenings.[3]

In between the spring and autumn meets, the track holds one day of racing on Governor's Day during the Delaware State Fair each summer.[5][6] The program, which showcases the best Delaware-bred horses, is one of the most popular days at the track and has the largest purses of the year.[7][8]

The track is a half-mile oval.[3][9]

HistoryEdit

The track was built for the first Kent and Sussex County Fair, which was held in 1920.[7] Harness racing and other types of races were conducted annually as part of the fair (which changed its name to the Delaware State Fair in 1962).[7][10] In 1934, the fair became part of the Central Fair Circuit, an organization to coordinate harness racing dates at fairs in the Mid-Atlantic region.[11]

 
Newspaper advertisement for the first racing meet with parimutuel wagering at the racetrack in 1946.

After the state legalized parimutuel wagering on harness racing in 1945, the directors of the fair organized the Kent and Sussex Racing Association to conduct an annual racing meet.[12][13] The association opened its first 15-day meet with parimutuel betting on October 14, 1946.[14][15]

In 1964, the racing association began considering plans to modernize or rebuild the facility, because it had been designed for the warm summer months, when the fair was held, and could not keep spectators comfortable during the colder autumn months, when the racing meet was held.[16][17] Plans were formalized in 1966 to construct a new track to the south of the existing facility.[18] Those plans were soon canceled, however, because of the high cost.[19] Instead, a $1-million project was undertaken to build an enclosed clubhouse and make enhancements to the grandstand, including improved heating.[20][21] A public offering of stock was issued to fund the project.[22][23] With the improvements underway, the track's name was changed in 1967 from the Kent and Sussex Raceway to Harrington Raceway,[7][24] although this name had already been in common use informally. Construction was completed in time for the opening of the 1968 racing session.[21]

Attendance and betting at Harrington dwindled steadily starting in the 1970s, as part of the overall decline of the horse racing industry.[25] By the early 1990s, the track was losing money and was in danger of closing.[26] The introduction in 1991 of inter-track simulcast wagering boosted business somewhat, but not enough to make the track profitable.[27][28]

In 1994, Delaware legalized slot machines at horse tracks in an effort to save the racing industry.[29][30] Initially, Harrington was not expected to install slot machines, although some discussions had been held with Lee Iacocca about developing a slot facility.[30][31][32] Many of the fair's directors considered slots to be incompatible with the fairgrounds' family-friendly environment, and Harrington was entitled to a share of the slot revenues from Delaware's other racetracks if it did not offer slots.[33] In March 1995, however, the fair board of directors voted by a margin of 33 to 32 to build a slot parlor.[33] The facility would be financed and developed by Full House Resorts, which Iacocca had joined as a director.[33][32] Gtech Corporation soon joined Full House as a joint venture partner in the development.[34]

Harrington's slot machine parlor, Midway Slots and Racebook, opened on August 20, 1996.[35] The $10-million facility had 35,000 square feet (3,300 m2) of space with 500 slot machines, a simulcast wagering parlor, and a buffet restaurant.[35] The Full House/Gtech joint venture had a 15-year agreement to manage the facility.[36]

The track itself was renovated in 2003 to widen it and to make the turns gentler, making the track safer and more attractive to horsemen.[3][9][37]

Harrington Raceway bought Gtech's stake in the slot parlor joint venture in 2004 for $12 million.[38][39] In 2006, a $50-million expansion and renovation of the slot parlor was begun.[40][41] As part of the project, the Midway Slots name was dropped in 2007 and the entire property became known as Harrington Raceway & Casino.[42] Also, Full House ceded day-to-day operations of the gaming facility to Harrington.[43] The expansion was completed in 2008, adding a new restaurant, lounge, coffee shop, high-stakes gaming areas, and an expanded buffet, and increasing the number of slot machines in the casino from approximately 1,600 to 2,100.[40][44]

Table games were added in 2010, following their legalization earlier in the year.[45][46] The management agreement expired in 2011, leaving Harrington Raceway in full control of the casino.[47][48]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Chris Wetterich (September 17, 2011). "State fair casinos in Delaware, New Mexico generating millions". The Repository. Canton, OH. Retrieved 2019-03-25.
  2. ^ Financial Statements and Supplementary Information (PDF) (Report). Delaware State Fair. April 4, 2018. p. 7. Retrieved 2019-03-25.
  3. ^ a b c d "Harrington Raceway". TVG. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  4. ^ "Racing Dates". Harrington Raceway & Casino. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  5. ^ Angela Trout (July 31, 1998). "Governor's Day a hit at fair". Delaware State News – via NewsBank.
  6. ^ Mike Lewis (July 28, 2004). "Downstate harness racing: Fair tradition continues". Delaware State News – via NewsBank.
  7. ^ a b c d Lacey Lafferty (2012). Delaware Horse Racing. Arcadia Publishing. p. 71. ISBN 9780738597638.
  8. ^ Ted Black (July 29, 2014). "Stafford, Starkey filly is 3rd in DSBF final on Governor's Day". Kent County News. Chestertown, MD. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  9. ^ a b "Visitor Information". Harrington Raceway & Casino. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  10. ^ "State fair's leaders work to make it that". The News Journal. Wilmington, DE. July 14, 1962 – via Newspapers.com.
  11. ^ "Central Fair loop in local meeting admits new clubs". Reading Times. Reading, PA. December 6, 1934 – via Newspapers.com.
  12. ^ "New charters filed". The News Journal. Wilmington, DE. August 10, 1946 – via Newspapers.com.
  13. ^ Larry Van Goethem (September 26, 1963). "He's happiest at race track". The Morning News. Wilmington, DE – via Newspapers.com.
  14. ^ "3,000 see races at Harrington". The Daily Times. Salisbury, MD. October 15, 1946 – via Newspapers.com.
  15. ^ "Rain delays racing at Sussex track". The Daily Times. Salisbury, MD. October 14, 1946 – via Newspapers.com.
  16. ^ "Kent-Sussex move hinted". The Morning News. Wilmington, DE. November 4, 1964 – via Newspapers.com.
  17. ^ Hal Bodley (February 2, 1965). "N.H. man wanted Georgetown track". The Morning News. Wilmington, DE – via Newspapers.com.
  18. ^ "Harrington plans new track by '67". The Morning News. Wilmington, DE. May 4, 1966 – via Newspapers.com.
  19. ^ Ted Miller (October 26, 1966). "Harrington track to be renovated". The Morning News. Wilmington, DE – via Newspapers.com.
  20. ^ "Harrington track to get clubhouse". The Daily Times. Salisbury, MD. August 7, 1967 – via Newspapers.com.
  21. ^ a b Jim Albert (September 7, 1968). "Harrington debuts before 2,758 fans". The Morning News. Wilmington, DE – via Newspapers.com.
  22. ^ "Raceway approves expansion". The Morning News. Wilmington, DE. November 15, 1966 – via Newspapers.com.
  23. ^ "Advertisement of stock offering by Harrington Raceway, Inc". The Morning News. Wilmington, DE. November 8, 1967 – via Newspapers.com.
  24. ^ Ed Nichols (September 1, 1967). "Shore Sports". The Daily Times. Salisbury, MD – via Newspapers.com.
  25. ^ Andrew West (November 22, 1991). "Hit raceway at Harrington". Delaware State News – via NewsBank.
  26. ^ Darian Tisinger (February 26, 1991). "Harrington Raceway still struggles". The Daily Times. Salisbury, MD – via Newspapers.com.
  27. ^ Andrew West (April 22, 1993). "Raceway gets back on track". Delaware State News – via NewsBank.
  28. ^ Andrew West (November 4, 1991). "Pompano simulcasts boost bets at Harrington". Delaware State News – via NewsBank.
  29. ^ Nancy Kesler (July 18, 1994). "Slots at track are now legit". The News Journal. Wilmington, DE – via Newspapers.com.
  30. ^ a b James Merriweather; Nancy Kesler (July 1, 1994). "Compromise hits the jackpot". The News Journal. Wilmington, DE – via Newspapers.com.
  31. ^ Andrew West (November 27, 2011). "Chambers changed fate of Delaware State Fair". Delaware State News – via NewsBank.
  32. ^ a b "Item 1: Description of Business - Background". Form 10-KSB/A: Annual Report (Report). Full House Resorts. July 25, 1996 – via EDGAR.
  33. ^ a b c Nancy Kesler (March 18, 1995). "Bet on slots to show at raceway". The News Journal. Wilmington, DE – via Newspapers.com.
  34. ^ "Red ink for Full House". Rapid City Journal. September 10, 1995 – via Newspapers.com.
  35. ^ a b Carol Ann Porter (August 21, 1996). "Midway opens doors to slots". Delaware State News – via NewsBank.
  36. ^ Brian C. Jones (August 21, 1996). "GTECH's gambling universe expands". Providence Journal – via NewsBank.
  37. ^ Mike Lewis (March 27, 2003). "Harrington facelift on track". Delaware State News – via NewsBank.
  38. ^ "Note 15: Delaware LLC". Form 10-K: Annual Report (Report). Gtech Holdings Corporation. April 28, 2005 – via EDGAR.
  39. ^ Form 10-K: Annual Report (Report). Full House Resorts. April 12, 2005. p. 2 – via EDGAR.
  40. ^ a b George Mast (December 28, 2007). "Expansion has new look, games". Delaware State News – via NewsBank.
  41. ^ "Full House Resorts, Inc. announces ground breaking of the expansion for its Midway Slots operations in Delaware" (Press release). Full House Resorts. July 31, 2006 – via NewsBank.
  42. ^ Nora Engel (July 18, 2007). "Slots parlor, track enjoy growth". Delaware State News – via NewsBank.
  43. ^ "Full House Resorts announces restructuring of Midway Slots agreement" (Press release). Full House Resorts. June 19, 2007 – via NewsBank.
  44. ^ Form 10-KSB: Annual Report (Report). Full House Resorts. March 27, 2008. p. 3 – via EDGAR.
  45. ^ Logan B. Anderson (May 29, 2010). "Tables open full time at Harrington". Delaware State News – via NewsBank.
  46. ^ Donald Wittkowski (January 29, 2010). "Del. legalizes table games at its casinos". The Press of Atlantic City – via NewsBank.
  47. ^ Form 10-K: Annual Report (Report). Full House Resorts. March 7, 2012. p. 4 – via EDGAR.
  48. ^ Chris Sieroty (March 10, 2012). "Earnings less than predicted from Full House Resorts". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2019-03-25.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 38°54′54″N 75°34′30″W / 38.915°N 75.575°W / 38.915; -75.575