A rider at Blue Ribbon Downs died Oct. 18 after he fell from a horse during the first race at the Sallisaw, Okla., track.
The Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission officially gave the go-ahead for gaming Aug. 11 at two of the racetracks in the state, Remington Park in Oklahoma City and Blue Ribbon Downs in Sallisaw.
Oklahoma may be less than two weeks away from having its first racetrack casino operation licensed, and a June 16 meeting should chart the course of on-track electronic gaming in the state.
Gaming at Oklahoma racetracks is closer to reality, Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission officials said Jan. 27 during their monthly meeting. Rules that would govern alternative gaming will be formulated in a month, they said.
Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry signed a bill Monday that allows electronic gaming machines at three racetracks in the state. A bill-signing ceremony was scheduled for Tuesday.
Indian tribes, the horse racing industry, and Gov. Brad Henry have reached an agreement on legislation that would allow racetracks to install gaming machines and regulate devices currently operating at tribal casinos. The measure now goes to the state legislature.
The Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission approved an emergency order Thursday allowing the Choctaw Nation to offer horse racing at Blue Ribbon Downs in 2004.
Racing at Blue Ribbon Downs will be suspended after this weekend until next year as its new owners work to obtain a license for pari-mutuel meets.
- By Victor Ryan
Backstretch LLC, a private company wholly-owned by the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, closed a deal Monday to purchase Blue Ribbon Downs, one day before the Sallisaw, Okla. track was to be auctioned.
The Oklahoma Racing Commission denied Thursday a request by Remington Park to eliminate its Quarter Horse dates for the time being and run only 65 days of Thoroughbred racing next year. Remington Park officials say the decision puts the track in financial jeopardy and may force it to close.
Citing frigid temperatures, management at Sportsman's Park cancelled live racing Monday. Racing at the Illinois track is scheduled to resume Tuesday.
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Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating has extended the off-track betting compact with the Choctaw Indian Nation for an indefinite period of time, which will enable the tribe to continue simulcasting at a casino located just miles away from Blue Ribbon Downs in Sallisaw.
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