Editor: The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us many lessons, including not taking for granted jobs, family and life milestones.

For horsemen and staff at the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono near Wilkes-Barre, the pandemic has hit hard. Beginning in mid-March, they were unable to conduct or participate in live horse racing. They were left without the ability to earn a living. Still, members of this horse-racing community continued to keep one another — and the horses in their care — safe.

In June we at the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Association were thrilled to see live racing return there. The resumption of harness racing enables those who work in the area’s industry to again earn income and support their families. Studies show that the industry’s economic impact ranges from $721.5 million to $1.6 billion annually and supports as many as 23,000 jobs. In addition, the industry is responsible for the preservation of more than 100,000 acres of open space. This is why the resumption of racing is important to the Pennsylvania economy and land preservation.

Staff at the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono provide an environment that meets all Centers for Disease Control and state guidelines for sanitation and employee wellness. On the track, staff follow protocols that the Pennsylvania Department of Health has reviewed and approved. This sense of normalcy is a welcome sight for Pennsylvania horse-racing fans.

As the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono resumes operations, we encourage Pennsylvanians to engage with this great sport and its knowledgeable supporters. Multiple generations enjoy the excitement of racing, wagering and winning — all of which benefit the local economy.

We encourage online visits to PennHorseRacing.com, the organization’s website, to learn about watching remotely and to find out how to support Pennsylvania’s professional horse racing community and racetracks.

PETE PETERSON

PRESIDENT, PENNSYLVANIA HORSE RACING ASSOCIATION,

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