Legislation that would end dog racing at Tucson Greyhound Park but allow the track to operate off-track betting parlors for another two years passed the Arizona Senate Finance Committee March 16.
Legislation that would allow most pari-mutuel operations to end live racing and become slot-machine casinos or card rooms with simulcast wagering easily cleared the Florida House Finance and Tax Committee Feb. 29.
Racing interests and their legislative representatives plan a rally March 1 at the West Virginia Capitol in Charleston to combat bills that call for the decoupling of live racing from gaming.
A state group that studies the impact of tax changes in Florida offered a general assessment Feb. 26 that decoupling horse racing from gaming would have minimal effect on pari-mutuel revenue for state government.
The West Virginia Senate Feb. 25 had first reading on legislation that would defund and decouple greyhound racing from gaming but maintain requirements that Thoroughbred racing receive its share of gaming revenue.
The Florida Senate Regulated Industries Committee Feb. 17 passed two pieces of legislation, one authorizing a compact with the Seminole tribe and another that would allow decoupling at most racetracks in the state.
In the wake of bills introduced in the Florida legislature, horsemen have reiterated their opposition to any measure that would permit pari-mutuel facilities to end live racing but maintain gaming operations.
Owners of West Virginia-bred racehorses will share in an additional $1 million, the result of an accumulated balance in the West Virginia Accredited Race Fund.
Both houses of the West Virginia legislature have adopted a resolution forming a select committee that will undertake a "comprehensive study" of the state's racing and gaming industries and report its findings in 2016.
Is West Virginia legislation an indication of what's to come? read blog
Advance deposit wagering via phone began Jan. 31 in Arizona, according to the Arizona Department of Racing. However, for the time being, residents of Pima County won't be permitted to wager on Thoroughbred races.
A subsidiary of Tampa Bay Downs has a contract to purchase the assets of Tampa Greyhound Track, according to a Jan. 7 release.
A month after approving a resolution to examine racing dates in the state, the West Virginia Racing Commission Nov. 18 backed away from the plan amid reports the legislature will authorize a study of the racing industry.
The West Virginia Racing Commission is taking comments on a proposed resolution that would notify lawmakers it would like to see legislation in 2015 to change the required number of live racing dates to 185 each year.
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad May 31 signed into law a bill that will allow casinos to buy out dog racing, but there could be legislation in 2015 to hammer out simulcast revenue splits for Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing.
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad said he is unsure whether he will sign legislation that would allow casinos to buy out Greyhound racing because of an objection raised by horse interests over full-card simulcasts.
An economic impact study shows the Thoroughbred and Greyhound racing and breeding industries account for at least $321 million a year in total business volume in West Virginia.
The West Virginia Racing Commission Aug. 20 approved an animal cruelty policy that will rely heavily on existing practices and state law.
The West Virginia Racing Commission is seeking comment on an animal cruelty policy that would make clear existing rules for Thoroughbred and Greyhound racing in the state.
Legislation creating the Kansas Agriculture Opportunity Act would lower the tax rate on electronic gaming machines in an effort to get racetracks to install them, and also increase the amount of revenue for purses.
Legislation introduced in the West Virginia Senate March 6 calls for several statutory changes regarding racing, including a substantial reduction in the minimum number of dates a track must schedule each year.
The Florida Senate Committee on Gaming took more testimony Feb. 4 in an effort to shape future policy on expanded gambling in the state.
The Florida legislature ended its 2012 regular session the night of March 9 and did not pass a bill that would have authorized an annual Thoroughbred meet for Hialeah Park.
Racetrack gaming has poured money into the pari-mutuel industry but shouldn't be viewed as a savior, panelists said Oct. 4 during the 2011 Global Gaming Exposition in Las Vegas.
Greyhound tracks in Florida are preparing for business as usual after the Florida legislature did not pass a controversial bill that would have allowed them to stop live racing.
The Florida House and Senate by wide margins have passed similar bills that would allow Greyhound tracks to stop racing or choose to significantly reduce racing schedules beginning July 1, 2011.
Suffolk Downs has been given approval to simulcast dog racing by the Massachusetts State Racing Commission, which recently issued a decision to allow the shuttered Wonderland Greyhound Park to transfer its license.
- By Tom LaMarra
As it prepares for its annual meeting April 12-15, the Association of Racing Commissioners International has released a three-year strategic plan focusing on reforms in regulation, medication, and wagering security.
The Greyhound racing industry has some words of advice for the horse racing industry: Pay attention to what's going on.
Lonny Powell, a longtime industry official who has worked on the racetrack and regulatory sides, has been appointed director of the Arizona Department of Racing. Powell, currently a consultant, will begin his new job Jan. 4, 2010.
- By Tom LaMarra
As the Thoroughbred industry seeks to build on and create new programs to deal with horses that can no longer race, it could learn lessons from Greyhound racing, which has a history of successful adoption programs and first-hand knowledge of the power of animal-rights groups.
Massachusetts voters reversed course Nov. 4 and approved a ban on Greyhound racing in the state eight years after they narrowly defeated a similar ballot question.
Suffolk Downs and Wonderland Greyhound Park have reached a partnership agreement allowing Suffolk to buy the dog track, and maybe help the owners land a casino gambling franchise.
- By Tom LaMarra
As reports have surfaced that Birmingham Race Course in Alabama may again seek to install electronic bingo games, the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association will take yet another look at the status of the Alabama HBPA, which continues to say a return of live Thoroughbred racing to Birmingham is possible.
The Texas Racing Commission approved 2008 breed splits for horses and discussed the closure of one of the state's three Greyhound tracks during its Nov. 27 meeting.
Contested election results indicate voters approved table games at a Kanawha County, W.Va., dog track located less than an hour from the eastern Kentucky border.
- By Jon Forbes
Bettors in the Tucson, Ariz., area are again able to wager on horseracing simulcasts, but whether that will be the case in early September remains to be seen.
- By Dan Johnson
Wyandotte County, Kan., voters on June 26 approved a measure that will allow The Woodlands racetrack to install slot machines. The revenue eventually could push purses above the $200,000-per-day level at the once-bankrupt track.
Casinos and slot machines at horse and dog tracks were approved by the Senate early Thursday morning, ending a day of filibustering that gave supporters time to corral enough votes to send the bill to Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.
Legislation to authorize casino gambling at Kansas racetracks including The Woodlands, the state's only Thoroughbred track, has passed the House and has moved to the Senate.
Suffolk Downs will shut down Jan. 1 because the Massachusetts legislature has failed to approve legislation to authorize full-card simulcasts beyond the end of 2006.
- By Pete Spanos
Attorneys for Magna Entertainment Corp. filed countersuit in Multnomah County Circuit Court in Oregon Feb. 18 to formally answer a $1-million breach-of-contract action brought against the company by the Oregon Greyhound Association.
Magna Entertainment Corp. won't renew its lease of Multnomah Greyhound Park in Oregon when it expires Dec. 31, the company said in a Dec. 23 press release.
- By Tom LaMarra
The pari-mutuel industry in Iowa got a major boost June 12 when state Supreme Court justices ruled they could "find no rational reason for treating racetrack slot machines differently than riverboat slot machines." Racetracks currently pay a 32% tax, while the riverboats pay 20%.
While the presidential race was too close to call, that was not the case with gaming-related referendums in three states. In Massachusetts, dog tracks apparently scored a victory as a referendum to ban greyhound racing was headed toward defeat. In other gambling issues, Arkansas voters rejected casino gambling and in Maine a proposal to permit video lottery terminals at tracks failed.
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