Mark Davis gave a guest lecture on the horse racing industry in Delaware. He began by providing some basic history of horse racing, which is considered one of the oldest sports, dating back thousands of years with almost no alterations. He then talked about the history of horse racing in America and the current state of American horse racing. Horse racing in America has a direct economic impact of $39 billion annually, while the economic impact with spending by industry suppliers and employees totals $102 billion. There are 9.2 million horses in the U.S., of which around 850,000 are used for racing.
In Delaware, the first horse racing facility dates back to 1760, when it was built in the town of Newark. Horse racing in Delaware has continued to thrive ever since, with harness racing being particularly popular in Delaware. In 2013 Delaware paid out $28 million in purses for harness racing and $13.5 million in purses for thoroughbred racing. The horse racing industry in Delaware accounts for approximately 4,200 jobs. In 1994, the Delaware General Assembly decided to allow horse-racing tracks to utilize slot machines to help boost their economic activity.