A Kentucky Horse Racing Commission committee is considering changes to the state's Breeders' Incentive Fund, money for which comes from a 6% sales tax on stud fees.
On the heels of a successful opening weekend at Ellis Park comes word of a few initiatives that, if they come to fruition, could generate or repurpose revenue for Kentucky racing. But will it be enough?
When Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear and representatives of Breeders' Cup and Churchill Downs announced the track was selected to host the World Championships in 2011, the lawmaker who pushed for tax breaks wasn't on hand.
As Breeders' Cup considers a future host site schedule complicated by recent actions in California, a Kentucky lawmaker has reiterated the state's favorable tax climate in hosting the World Championships.
Kentucky Senate President David Williams said April 27 issues in the horse racing and pari-mutuel industry are "complicated," but lawmakers intend to continue working on ways to strengthen the business.
Legislation to authorize Instant Racing at Kentucky racetracks apparently won't come up again anytime soon.
Republican Kentucky Sen. Damon Thayer spent more than an hour March 18 in a GOP caucus in an attempt to make a case for Instant Racing via statutory approval.
Legislation to aid the horse industry in Kentucky may be dead after developments in the state capital March 17.
Legislation authorizing Instant Racing at Kentucky racetracks is in line for major revisions that would place approval squarely in the lap of the governor or Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
An executive with RaceTech, the company that produces Instant Racing machines, said the product has held up well against electronic games of skill at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas.
Legislation authorizing Instant Racing, a tax on advance deposit wagering, and a reduction in the pari-mutuel excise tax sailed through the Kentucky Senate Committee on State and Local Government March 11.
Yet another bill authorizing gaming at racetracks has been introduced in the Kentucky General Assembly. With less than a month to go in the session, no action has been taken on any gaming-related legislation.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project Feb. 12 reiterated its calls for immediate action from the Kentucky General Assembly to assist the horse industry in the state.
Gov. Steve Beshear is urging Kentucky lawmakers to take another look at legalizing video lottery terminals to avoid cuts in the state's next budget.
A surprisingly good night for business on a winter evening at Turfway Park doesn't hide the fact Kentucky's year-round Thoroughbred racing industry is in serious trouble.
Legislation calling for a constitutional amendment on any expansion of gambling in Kentucky failed to garner the required number of votes for passage in the state Senate Jan. 21.
Legislation calling for a constitutional amendment on any expansion of gambling in Kentucky passed a Senate committee Jan. 20 on a predictable party-line vote.
Democratic Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear called the state legislature's bluff Jan. 19 by presenting a two-year budget that relies on more than $700 million in revenue from gaming machines at racetracks.
Saying his bill for a constitutional amendment on expanded gambling in the state is gaining support from some members of the Kentucky horse industry, Republican Sen. Damon Thayer put action on the bill on hold Jan. 13.
Republican Kentucky Sen. Damon Thayer has prefiled legislation calling for a constitutional amendment to authorize racetrack video lottery terminals.
The president of Churchill Downs Inc. said he believes recent developments with the makeup of the Kentucky General Assembly are positive and could help lead to legalization of video lottery terminals at racetracks in the state.
Republican Sen. Dan Kelly, a member of the Senate committee that killed racetrack gaming legislation during a special General Assembly session earlier this year, was appointed by Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear as an 11th Judicial Circuit judge.
Kentucky's horse racing and breeding industry plans to stand its ground in the wake of a proposal for a constitutional amendment on gaming some have characterized as a politically-motivated stall tactic.
Jockeys' Guild national manager Terry Meyocks, formerly an executive with the New York Racing Association, will seek the Kentucky Senate seat currently held by Republican Alice Forgy Kerr in the November 2010 election.
A Kentucky Thoroughbred breeder said Republican lawmakers plan to push for a constitutional amendment on racetrack gaming, but a spokesperson for the state's Senate leader said that's not the case.
Kentucky Senate President David Williams has continued a war of words with leading Democrats over the politics surrounding proposed racetrack gaming in Kentucky. But Williams, a Republican, has also apparently drawn the ire of Kentucky's top GOP leader.
Following the June demise of expanded gambling in the legislature, representatives of Kentucky's horse industry vowed to take a more aggressive role in statehouse campaigns. The industry's involvement in a special state Senate election in eastern Kentucky Aug. 25 is proving the threat wasn't hollow.
A reduction in stakes purses for its upcoming meet will allow Turfway Park to maintain overnight purses and racing days, but track officials are thinking ahead to 2010, when that probably won't be the case.
A Republican Kentucky senator who chaired the committee that killed legislation to authorize video lottery terminals at the state's racetracks has been appointed as commissioner of the Kentucky Public Service Commission by Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear.
Kentucky legislation authorizing a pari-mutuel tax exemption for the Breeders' Cup World Championships was modified to allow for one-day or two-day events and sets a lower purse minimum to qualify for the exemption.
Ellis Park owner Ron Geary said June 24 it's too soon to say a commitment from the racing industry and legislators to fight for racetrack gaming will keep his track open beyond the 2009 season. Meanwhile, Turfway Park and the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association plan to sit down soon to devise a plan that could include reductions in purses and racing dates for future meets.
Republican Sen. Damon Thayer, under heavy fire from some in the Kentucky horse industry for not being publicly proactive on racetrack gaming legislation, on June 25 outlined his position on the issue and claimed that a "political war" would only hinder the industry.
The Kentucky horse industry, in the wake of the defeat of racetrack gaming legislation, is planning a rally at the Keeneland sale pavilion in Lexington at 6:30 p.m. EDT June 24.
A party-line vote in the Republican-heavy Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee June 22 killed legislation to authorize video lottery terminals at racetracks in Kentucky.
After debate of nearly four hours June 19, the Kentucky House of Representatives approved a bill permitting video lottery terminals at racetracks. The vote was 52 in favor, 45 opposed with two abstentions.
The Kentucky House Appropriations and Revenue Committee June 18 sent racetrack gaming legislation to the full House of Representatives for consideration.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project is organizing a rally June 17 in the Capitol Rotunda to drum up support for legislation that would financially assist the horse industry.
On the eve of the release of racetrack gaming legislation on the call for a special session of the Kentucky General Assembly, the state's top lawmakers debated the merits of the plan and indicated it won't be a slam dunk.
An economic incentives package that will be part of a special legislative session in Kentucky includes a provision to attract future editions of the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
Democratic Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear announced June 4 that racetrack gaming would be included in the special legislative session that will focus on the state budget.
Though racetrack gaming wasn't put on the initial call for a June 15 special legislative session in Kentucky, the state's horse racing industry expressed confidence the issue will be on the agenda -- and pass.
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said May 29 he will call a special legislative session to deal with "the largest budget shortfall in modern Kentucky history," but stopped short of saying he will put racetrack gaming on the agenda.
Kentucky racetrack operators said May 20 the state's horseracing and breeding industries have reached a critical juncture, and without legislative assistance in the form of on-track gaming, the damage could be irreparable.
As Kentucky's equine industry awaits word on whether Gov. Steve Beshear will call a special legislative session that could have racetrack gaming on the agenda, representatives of the state's racetracks and horsemen's groups will hold a press conference May 20 to discuss the state of the horse business. Meanwhile, Ohio horseracing interests plan a statehouse rally May 19 to lobby for legislative relief.
A decision on whether to call a special legislative session -- one that could include alternative gaming and relief for the horse industry -- will be made in a few weeks, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said April 29.
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said he has been proactive in his support of expanded gambling to assist horse racing and breeding, and the "continued tough economy may further underscore that effort."
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission announced March 27 the Kentucky Breeders' Incentive Fund will distribute more than $18.7 million in awards for 2008.
A 187-page bill that passed the Kentucky Senate March 13 includes provisions for a tax break for the Breeders' Cup World Championships if the event is held in Kentucky in 2011 or 2012, or 2011 and 2012.
With the Kentucky General Assembly seemingly headed for a special session this spring or summer to address a substantial revenue deficit, a legislative committee March 12 heard testimony on a bill that would authorize video lottery terminals at racetracks in the state.
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.
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