Earlier this month, the Mid Atlantic Cooperative named Phil O’Hara its executive director, which might lead the casual racing fan to ask, “What’s the Mid Atlantic Cooperative?”
According to Chris McErlean, vice president of racing for Penn National Gaming, which owns Penn National, Charles Town, and Sam Houston along with casinos across the country, the Cooperative was created in 1998 to increase the bargaining power of individual racetracks in negotiations for simulcast signals.
The core membership at that point were tracks, as the name suggests, in the Mid Atlantic region: Philadelphia Park (now Parx), Delaware Park, Laurel, Pimlico, Colonial Downs, Penn National, and Charles Town. Monmouth and the Meadowlands joined shortly thereafter, and over time, some early arrivals left and other tracks arrived. The group is now a somewhat far-flung collection of about 20 tracks, both harness and flat.
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