New York racetrack officials have angered some government budget negotiators with their push for a more lucrative video lottery terminal program.
Expanded gambling, including slot machines at racetracks, took a hit May 9 when the Masschusetts House voted against it, but legislators did establish a committee to make recommendations on the issue by the end of the year.
A group of truckstop casinos near Vinton, La., want the state Gaming Control Board to determine if 100 video poker machines at the Delta Downs slot-machine parlor are legal.
Delta Downs generated nearly $25 million in gross revenue--86% from its slot-machine parlor--for the first quarter of 2002, according to financial statements.
Negotiations with horse racing interests at Prairie Meadows will be reopened. Polk County supervisors on April 16 said they fear a proposed lease agreement won't protect taxpayers if profits at the racetrack and casino fail to meet expectations.
Former Delta Downs owner Shawn Scott wants to build a $25-million racetrack in New Mexico and take over a financially troubled Standardbred track in New York. Both facilities would be in line for slot machines and video lottery terminals.
Proponents of "pull-tab" machines for the horse racing industry and dockside gaming for riverboat casinos may have renewed hopes in Indiana. Gov. Frank O'Bannon has said he will call lawmakers back for a special session beginning May 14.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- Just as the automobile replaced the horse and buggy a century ago, the manufacture of automobiles has supplanted in importance the breeding and racing of Thoroughbreds in Kentucky, based on the recent actions of Gov. Paul Patton and state legislators.
MTR Gaming is as interested in acquiring an Ohio racetrack as it is in building a new track in Erie, Pa., according to the company's president.
Plans by the New York Racing Association to build a world-class gambling facility to house video lottery terminals at Aqueduct will have to be shelved because state regulators are requiring tracks to pay too much of the program's expenses.
Prairie Meadows will pay $15 million per year in purses and $20 million annually to its landlord, Polk County, under separate deals worked out by the racetrack. Both agreements will begin in 2003.
Louisiana's first "racino" at Delta Downs generated nearly $8 million in revenue in just 16 days of operation in February, and attracted more than 134,000 patrons, according to state police figures released March 20 at the Louisiana Gaming Control Board meeting.
- By Tom LaMarra
Legislation to authorize electronic gaming devices at Kentucky's eight racetracks cleared the House Licensing and Occupations Committee by a 9-5 vote March 18 and now heads to the full House. When the bill may be heard, though, remains to be seen.
Delta Downs has worked out a compromise with the Louisiana Racing Commission over payment of a head tax. The issue was resolved at the commission's meeting in New Orleans March 8.
State Rep. Ronnie Johns said a dispute between the Louisiana Racing Commission and Delta Downs over head-tax payments could be resolved by March 8, when the racing commission meets in New Orleans.
The Louisiana Racing Commission is at odds with Delta Downs over the racetrack's refusal to pay a little-known head tax. Racing commissioners want Delta Downs to pay 25 cents for each patron that enters its doors for horse racing or to play slot machines.
An odd turn of events threatens any chance for construction of a new riverboat casino in Rosemont, Ill., that is designed to pump tens of millions of dollars a year into the state's horse racing industry.
Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Ed Rendell has said he supports a plan to put slot machines at Pennsylvania's racetracks in order to fund the state's financially strapped schools.
The House Licensing and Occupations Committee on March 4 heard the pros and cons of legislation that would authorize electronic gaming devices at Kentucky's eight racetracks and create a gaming commission to oversee their operation.
The official who is running New York's new racetrack video lottery terminal program said tracks should not expect the state to help with additional funds to cover the costs for installing and operating the VLTs.
Two separate meetings set for Feb. 27 to look into problems at Delta Downs were canceled.
Kentucky horsemen were urged Feb. 27 to participate in a grass-roots campaign to contact legislators and urge them to support legislation that would authorize electronic gaming devices at the state's eight racetracks. The bill was introduced in the House of Representatives Feb. 26.
The Indiana House passed legislation Feb. 26 that allows for dockside gaming at riverboat casinos, and pull-tab machines in the state. Lawmakers approved the Senate bill by a 55-43 margin.
Legislation that would authorize electronic gaming devices at eight Kentucky racetracks--and presumably generate $1.7 billion in revenue for the state over six years--was introduced in the House of Representatives Feb. 26. The 177-page document is said to have support in the House, but serious hurdles may loom in the Senate.
The future of video gaming at racetracks and dockside gaming at riverboat casinos in Indiana could be decided as early as Monday.
The slot-machine parlor at Delta Downs reopened the evening of Feb. 22 after it had been shut down by the state police that morning for various violations. The Louisiana Gaming Control Board had suspended the license of Boyd Gaming, owner of the Vinton track, to operate the 1,500 slot machines that went on line in mid-February.
In a follow-up to discussion at its board of directors teleconference meeting Feb. 6, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Feb. 22 released an official policy statement on alternative gaming at racetracks. The NTRA will, in effect, act as a "clearinghouse" for related information. It will not employ its resources in any state without a super-majority vote of its board and a consensus of all "signficant" NTRA members in a given state.
Legislation that would authorized video lottery terminals at Kentucky's eight racetracks probably won't be filed until the week of Feb. 25, a racetrack official said Feb. 20.
Racing industry officials in Kentucky met for a few hours the evening of Feb. 18 to wrap up loose ends on legislation that would authorize video lottery terminals at racetracks in the state. Officials are tentatively scheduled to meet with leaders in the House of Representatives Feb. 20.
Hundreds of eager gamblers lined up Wednesday outside Delta Downs in Vinton, La., to gamble in its new 1,500-machine slots parlor. Boyd Gaming, the track's owner, officially opened the large casino after months of legal snags and delays and an investment of more than $165 million.
Louisiana's first racetrack slot parlor opens today at Delta Downs, more than two years after Calcasieu Parish voters approved the operation. For Boyd Gaming, Delta Downs' owner, the opening is long overdue.
Dockside gambling on Indiana riverboat casinos and electronic pull-tabs at Hoosier Park and the proposed Indianapolis Downs are one step closer to reality after a close vote in the Indiana Senate Jan. 31.
A lawsuit is being filed Jan. 29 in the state Supreme Court challenging New York's sweeping gambling legislation that permits most racetracks across to install video lottery terminals.
Having reached an agreement with racetracks on revenue splits, Kentucky horsemen's associations are rallying the troops, so to speak, in an effort to win approval for video lottery terminals at the state's tracks.
Indiana House and Senate committees passed bills Jan. 22 that pose substantial changes to the riverboat and horse racing industries in the state.
The New York Racing Association has submitted plans to state regulators to build a 100,000 square-foot, video lottery terminal area at Aqueduct racetrack, but the chairman of NYRA says the proposal won't work unless the state revises its new video lottery terminal law to give tracks more help with expenses.
Indiana Gov. Frank O'Bannon gave his state of the state address Tuesday evening before members of the General Assembly, and the pari-mutuel industry wasn't left out of the equation.
The Louisiana Gaming Control Board on Tuesday approved a configuration plan for the Delta Downs that will allow nearly 1,500 slot machines. Board members unanimously approved the plan, which also go the go-ahead from the state police and state fire marshal's office.
The initiative to get alternative gaming--likely slot machines--in Kentucky has received a major boost with a published report saying that the Keeneland Association will support the effort.
The head of the government panel that will decide the fate of whether video lottery terminals will come to Saratoga Springs said officials have no plans to linger over the controversial matter.
One week after Indiana Governor Frank O'Bannon proposed the transfer of $10 million from the horse racing industry to the state's general fund, Hoosier Park and Indianapolis Downs officials are calling the cut critical and are looking to other forms of revenue to offset the potential loss.
Will Nevada-style gambling come to California racetracks soon? Not likely, said the president of the Federation of California Racetracks, Jack Liebau, who offered only lukewarm interest for a state gambling initiative that would allow racetracks to offer a full range of Las Vegas-style games, including slot machines.
Legislators responsible for putting together Kentucky's budget said Wednesday lawmakers should consider alternative gaming at the state's racetracks for two reasons: to aid the equine industry and generate much-needed revenue for the state.
Churchill Downs executives say they are not advocating slot machines at Kentucky racetracks, but at a meeting Monday track president Alex Waldrop made a strong pitch for alternative gaming. Waldrop said alternative gaming was the best long-term solution to keep the racing industry in Kentucky growing, according to Louisville Courier-Journal.
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