Calder Race Course announced April 16 that it has signed a 2009 purse contract agreement with the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association. The Miami Gardens, Fla., track and its parent, Churchill Downs Inc., reached the agreement with the Florida HBPA on the evening of April 15.
Youbet.com has signed three agreements that will enable its members to watch and wager on racing from South Africa, Sweden, additional tracks in the United Kingdom, and Puerto Rico, providing nearly 24-hour-a-day racing coverage.
The multi-year quest for a stable funding source for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission took another turn March 10 when legislation to increase the powers of the KHRC unanimously passed a Senate committee. Whether the bill is approved--and whether the commission gets a new funding source--could be determined on the Senate floor.
Legislation linked to the long-delayed approval of the California state budget Feb. 20 could mean up to an additional $32 million a year for the state's beleaguered horse racing industry.
Rebates to wagering customers have become so widespread that the California Horse Racing Board is preparing to rescind its rule against the practice.
Two brothers have been charged by the U.S. District Court in Nevada in connection with a U.S. Attorney's Office investigation that included the former offshore rebate shop International Racing Group.
A Kentucky lawmaker has introduced legislation that would impose a 3.5% tax on out-of-state advance deposit wagering companies that take bets from Kentucky residents.
A switch to five-day racing weeks and a long stretch of dry weather are among the factors helping Gulfstream Park buck an industry trend of lower pari-mutuel handle.
British-based Betfair Group, which announced Jan. 27 it had completed its acquisition of TV Games Network from Macrovision for $50 million in cash consideration, is hopeful its new holding helps it make inroads in the United States market, which it has courted for years.
Horsemen from all parts of Colorado rallied at the state capitol Jan. 20 to support efforts by the horse industry to pass legislation designed to revitalize the economics of the industry in Colorado through advance deposit wagering and Instant Racing.
TwinSpires.com, the official advance deposit wagering service for Churchill Downs Inc., will provide an inside look at the DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship from Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas by providing online video coverage of the event throughout the Jan. 23-24.
An official with the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group said the organization intends to continue its work into 2009 and beyond, depending on the needs of its members.
In a short statement issued Jan. 1, New York Racing Association chief Charlie Hayward said an agreement had not been reached to send the organization's racing signal to TVG.
Churchill Downs has announced it has come to terms with horsemen over advance deposit wagering splits for the 2009 spring meeting at the Louisville, Ky., racetrack. The meet begins April 25.
Advance deposit wagering outlets owned by TrackNet Media, TwinSpires.com and XpressBet, as well as Youbet.com, will be taking bets on the upcoming 2009 Oaklawn racing season under an agreement announced Dec. 31.
Youbet.com has reached an agreement to take bets on Gulfstream Park for that track's meet which begins on Jan. 3, Sam Gordon, president of the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, said Dec. 30.
As a member of the California Horse Racing Board for four years, Richard Shapiro could hardly be described as a weak bystander in overseeing the sport. But Shapiro said he was "becoming increasingly frustrated by the governmental and bureaucratic limitations imposed by being on the board."
The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association said Dec. 22 it has reached agreements on advance deposit wagering contracts with Calder Race Course and Gulfstream Park.
After running the longest Thoroughbred meet in its 12-year history at 45 days, officials with Colonial Downs Dec. 17 proposed a 25-day meet in 2009.
Racetrack management and horsemen in Ohio struck an agreement Dec. 16 that will reinstate more than 160 Thoroughbred racing dates at Beulah Park and River Downs in 2009, and save more than 1,000 horses at Beulah Park from being forced out of the track's stable area by Dec. 27.
The Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 is a double-edge sword. And the debate over whether it should be amended continues.
With a little more than two weeks remaining before the scheduled shutdown of the barn area at Beulah Park, management and horsemen still have no deal to continue live racing in January. But developments on a national level could quickly turn things around.
An impasse in California over fee rates for interstate advance deposit wagering that has had a negative impact on Hollywood Park's fall meet ended Nov. 21 with the announcement that one-year deals with the four licensed providers in the state have been reached.
In a high-stakes "game of chicken," the California Horse Racing Board pushed account wagering a little closer to the edge Nov. 18 when it declined to renew the licenses of the state's four Internet and telephone bet companies.
A recent deal that allowed expanded distribution of the Fair Grounds racing signal was hailed by some as a step forward in the months-long nationwide dispute between horsemen, racetracks, and advance deposit wagering entities. But some horsemen's groups are categorizing the development as a step backwards in an overall plan to secure higher revenue shares for purses from a growing wagering segment.
Churchill Downs, for the second time, has cut purses for its fall meet. Among the casualties is the grade II Clark Handicap scheduled for Nov. 28.
Churchill Downs Inc. said Nov. 6 it is in a position to grow in various gaming areas, but is mum about what possible ventures might be considered in the future.
About 1,000 Thoroughbreds could be forced to leave the grounds of Beulah Park by the end of this year if the racetrack and horsemen's association don't have a deal for advance deposit wagering revenue in place by Nov. 21, the day the Ohio State Racing Commission will award racing dates for 2009.
Out-of-state account wagering bettors remained locked out of Hollywood Park races as a contract dispute between the Thoroughbred Owners of California and the four advance deposit wagering companies showed no sign of resolution Oct. 30, the second day of the fall meet.
A stalemate between California horsemen and advance deposit wagering companies kept Hollywood Park's out-of-state signal unavailable on opening day of the track's fall season Oct. 29.
Beulah Park and the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association have "agreed to disagree" on contractual issues, but a temporary agreement has allowed the track to restore previous purse levels and export its signal.
Beulah Park, locked in a dispute that centers on revenue from advance deposit wagering, intends to resume live racing Oct. 22 but with greatly reduced purses and no export of its signal outside of Ohio.
After more than a year of discussion, the California Horse Racing Board has deferred any action on a proposed rule that would prohibit advance deposit wagering companies from making exclusive wagering agreements with Thoroughbred racetracks in the state.
An agreement has reportedly fallen apart for signal distribution of the upcoming Churchill Downs fall meet to advance deposit wagering entities, according to horsemen representatives involved in the negotiations.
The Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, which represents owners and trainers at Arlington Park and Hawthorne Race Course, and the Oregon Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, comprised of horsemen competing at Portland Meadows, have voted to join the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group.
California horsemen and Hollywood Park reached a tentative agreement Oct. 10 that allows the track to operate its 40-day autumn race meet, but a stalemate over host fees to be paid by account wagering companies for interstate bets remains unresolved.
Barring fruitful negotiations -- and that scenario currently doesn't appear possible -- it could be months before decisions on Thoroughbred racing dates in Ohio are made.
Support for reform of the revenue model for advance deposit wagering continues to increase, but as evidenced Sept. 30 during the International Simulcast Conference, it's looking more and more like a long-term project.
Prominent Thoroughbred Owner Mace Siegel, vice president of the Thoroughbred Owners of California, has given $100,000 to support the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group and its efforts to protect live horse racing.
While signal distribution at racetracks continues to be a hot topic in the horse racing industry, that doesn't appear to be the case at Hawthorne Race Course, which opens its meet Sept. 26.
Mike Ziegler, most recently vice president and assistant general manager at Hollywood Park, has been named senior vice president of California-based Youbet.com, the company announced Sept. 16.
Ellis Park ended its annual racing meet Sept. 1 with a 3% drop in daily handle, despite broader signal distribution to advance deposit wagering outlets.
Officials with two Ohio racetracks indicated they hope to offer Thoroughbred meets in 2009 and could be close to a deal with local horsemen on revenue from advance deposit wagering.
Magna Entertainment Corp., in a statement issued the evening of Aug. 28, acknowledged it is having discussions with the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group on what company chairman Frank Stronach called "a new framework" for pari-mutuel economics.
Calder Race Course has asked the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering for permission to hold live racing four days a week, rather than five, during 11 weeks beginning Sept. 1.
Churchill Downs Inc. has fired back at horsemen's groups it has sued over alleged federal antitrust violations, calling their collective actions "price-fixing, pure and simple."
Beulah Park and River Downs, two Ohio Thoroughbred tracks that race more than 200 dates combined, have requested only Quarter Horse dates for 2009, a track official said Aug. 18.
The elimination of exclusive account deposit wagering contracts and meeting the challenges of racetrack closures were among the subjects addressed at the Thoroughbred Owners of California's annual membership meeting Aug. 16 at Del Mar.
Ellis Park, which nearly closed a month ago due to stalled negotiations with horsemen over a new advance deposit wagering contract, announced it will increase purses by 5% beginning Aug. 13 through the close of the current meet Sept. 1.
Churchill Downs Inc. said Aug. 6 it was pleased with its second quarter results despite various challenges that left the company with flat earnings in year-over-year comparison, claiming a high-profile dispute with horsemen had "little impact" on certain aspects of its financial performance.
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