ohara_philPhil O’Hara has been named a new member of the Virginia Racing Commission, appointed by former Governor Bob McDonnell prior to his leaving office.

O’Hara was recently hired as the executive director of the Mid Atlantic Cooperative, which negotiates simulcasting agreements on behalf of 20 racetracks. O’Hara, who is also the executive director for racetrack development for Daily Racing Form, filled a position that has been vacant since June 1 because of the retirement of attorney Martin Lieberman.

O’Hara has a 30-year career in racing that includes positions at Penn National Gaming Inc. and a stint as president of Equibase Company.

The Mid Atlantic Cooperative was formed in 1998 as a way to leverage the bargaining power of the group’s racetracks in simulcast negotiations. O’Hara was a racing executive at Penn National at the time and participated in the group’s formation.

The group buys and sells signals on behalf of Atlantic City Race Course, Beulah Park, Colonial Downs, Delaware Park, Charles Town Races, Penn National Race Course, Parx Racing, Rockingham Park, Sam Houston Race Park, Suffolk Downs, and Thistledown, along with a handful of harness tracks.

O’Hare replaces Stuart Siegel who was serving as Chairman of the VRC. Siegel’s term expired at the end of December.


  1. Francis Marion Bush Reply January 16, 2014 at 10:45 am

    He looks like a great choice. His record from moving from post to post so frequently leans toward a short career at this new position. Let’s wait and see how this turns out.

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