With a contentious proposal to legalize casinos stalled in the House, a lawmaker is floating a compromise measure that would allow only slot machines and video poker at Kentucky racetracks.
By Evan Hammonds - The casino bill's chances in Kentucky aren't necessarily a longshot, but aren't exactly 2-5, either.
After a Kentucky constitutional amendment calling for nine casino licenses passed out of committee Feb. 27, it was unclear whether the horse industry would continue to support the legislation. But indications lawmakers and Gov. Steve Beshear would look out for the industry led the Kentucky Equine Education Project to support the bill.
Action on recommended revisions to a constitutional amendment to authorize a vote on casino gambling in Kentucky will wait until the week of Feb. 24.
A legislative subcommittee studying expanded gambling in Kentucky has recommended a revised constitutional amendment that reduces the number of casinos permitted in the state to nine, requires local approval of some sort for all casinos, and removes dedicated percentages for gaming revenue.
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear unveiled legislation Feb. 14 calling for a constitutional amendment to allow for up to 12 casinos--seven at racetracks and five at non-racetrack locations.
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear again has called for the state General Assembly to approve legislation allowing a referendum on casino gambling, but details of the legislation still haven't been released.
To continue dialogue on why Kentucky needs expanded gaming, and to further educate the General Assembly on the matter, Kentucky Equine Education Project executive director Patrick Neely recently gave a presentation during a special legislative subcommittee meeting in Frankfort, the state capital.
Details on legislation to authorize casino gambling in Kentucky will have to wait for another day.
Representatives from Kentucky's Thoroughbred racetracks pitched legalized casino gambling to a state legislative panel Jan. 9, and suggested they haven't decided whether gambling halls would be located at tracks.
Discussion by Kentucky lawmakers on a public television program revealed a split on casino gambling. Meanwhile, a legislative working group hopes to have a report on the issue ready for the state General Assembly by Feb. 1, 2008.
Democrat Steve Beshear, who supports a referendum on casino gambling and made it part of his campaign, easily won the race for governor of Kentucky in the Nov. 6 election.
Industry participants offered their views on the recommendations released Oct. 15 by the 36-member Sales Integrity Task Force.
A public forum on preliminary recommendations by the Sales Integrity Task Force to the Kentucky legislature on auction transparency issues will be held at Keeneland Oct. 15 at 1 p.m.
Kentucky legislators said tax relief for the horse industry and dedicated funding for the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority will be prominent issues when the state General Assembly convenes in 2008.
The Sales Integrity Task Force, a 36-member group looking into issues such as the licensing of agents and ownership disclosure at auctions, will submit its first report to Kentucky lawmakers June 19.
The May 22 Kentucky gubernatorial primary is expected to have implications for expanded gambling, an issue the state's horse industry fully expects to be addressed during the 2008 General Assembly session. But regardless of who is elected in November, the legislature may hold the cards.
Thirty-six representatives of the Kentucky horse industry have agreed to join the Sales Intergrity Task Force, which will meet again sometime in May. The complete list of members was released April 30 by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.
Kentucky lawmakers differ on the reasons legislation that would have provided stable funding for the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority died during this year's General Assembly session. Meanwhile, a call has gone out for legislators to rally around a push for expanded gambling in the state.
Legislation that would have provided about $5 million a year to fund the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority died in the final days of the state's 2007 General Assembly session.
Time is running out for legislation that would provide the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority with about $5 million a year and spare racetracks the cost of equine drug testing.
Legislation to authorize casino gambling at racetracks and non-racing facilities has been introduced again in the Kentucky House of Representatives.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project is pushing legislation that would remove the sales tax on equine feed and supplies in the state.
Proposed Kentucky legislation that sparked controversy in the Thoroughbred auction community was tabled Feb. 14 after a compromise was reached between the bill's backers and several entities related to the commonwealth's signature industry.
Kentucky tracks would get a tax break for one major racing event per year under legislation introduced in the state General Assembly.
Shaking off defeat of the casino bill in the recent legislative session, the Kentucky Equine Education Project showed a fresh outlook for the remainder of 2006 in a public meeting May 9 at the Kentucky Horse Park.
More than $15 million for horse industry-related projects and financial relief is included in the 2006-07 budget approved April 11 by the Kentucky General Assembly. The spending plan now goes to Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher for consideration.
Davant Latham, the director of bloodstock for Darby Dan Farm, has left to open Davant Latham Bloodstock and Insurance. Latham had been at Darby Dan near Lexington for three years.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority has extended its public comment period for new administrative regulations governing multi-jurisdictional wagering hubs, a law for which was passed in 2004. Two years later, no hubs are operating in the state.
Legislation to authorize workers' compensation insurance for jockeys appears to have stalled in the Kentucky General Assembly and probably won't be voted on during the current session, which is nearing an end.
A Kentucky House committee approved legislation March 15 to authorize a constitutional amendment on casino gambling, but the substitute measure--believed to have little or no chance of passage in the full House--makes no mention of racetracks or dedicated revenue for state programs, the lynchpins of legislation proposed by the Kentucky Equine Education Project.
Legislation that would protect buyers and sellers in equine transactions unanimously passed the Kentucky Senate March 15 and now heads to the House of Representatives for concurrence. The House previously approved a different version of the bill.
A compromise would add three or four locations to the eight racetracks that would offer casino gambling under legislation already introduced in the Kentucky House of Representatives.
Legislation that would protect buyers and sellers in equine transactions is on its way to the floor of the Kentucky Senate, though one lawmaker plans to offer two amendments. Meanwhile, horse industry representatives planned another meeting to hammer out a compromise on some language in the bill.
An organization representing county judge/executives throughout Kentucky has endorsed racetrack casino legislation offered by the Kentucky Equine Education Project and currently in the House Licensing and Occupations Committee.
Legislation to authorize a constitutional amendment on casino gambling at Kentucky racetracks was introduced Feb. 16 by legislators in the House of Representatives and Senate.
A 90-day emergency regulation governing infractions of Kentucky equine medication rules expired Feb. 15 and the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority reverted back to the old rules that were previously in place.
Two Democrats who received financial support from members of the state's horse industry were elected Feb. 14 to seats in the Kentucky Senate and House of Representatives, but officials indicated the result is just a small step on a long road to lining up supporters in the state capital.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project has given its support for legislation that would make it unlawful for anyone to represent both buyer and seller in a transaction involving horses without written permission of both parties.
California vintner and Thoroughbred owner Jess Jackson met with Kentucky Senate Republicans Jan. 26 to discuss legislation that would make it unlawful for anyone to represent both buyer and seller in a transaction involving horses without written permission of both parties.
Two Kentucky lawmakers have introduced legislation that would eliminate the sales tax on horses purchased in Kentucky.
A Kentucky legislator is calling for even stricter equine drug-testing measures that call for pre-race testing of all horses within one hour of post time.
A debate over whether the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority has the power to fine violators of the state's new equine medication regulations has led the authority to seek clarification from the state legislature.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project began lobbying in earnest for its racetrack casino plan with a letter to more than 3,200 community officials outlining how the state's share--a projected $437.5 million a year--from gaming would be spent under proposed legislation.
As the deadline to establish regulations for a $12-million Thoroughbred breed incentive program in Kentucky fast approaches, a debate over the scope of the fund--and whether there could be political fallout--continues.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project announced its support Sept. 16 for a referendum to amend the state constitution to allow for casino gambling at licensed racetracks. But details of the plan won't be in the form of legislation until Jan. 1, 2006, and officials admitted the final document will be subject to revision.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project will unveil what it calls a "bold legislative initiative aimed at increasing the state's revenue for critical services without a broad-based tax increase" Sept. 16 on the steps of the State Capitol in Frankfort.
With a fall awareness campaign and the 2006 General Assembly session looming, the board of directors of the Kentucky Equine Education Project voted Sept. 7 on its ultimate position on expanded gambling in the state.
An Aug. 26 presentation on the status of the Kentucky lottery and a scholarship fund that derives money from it led to a call for more funding, even if it means legislators would have to approve expanded gambling to generate the revenue.
A lawsuit filed by the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association over the move to stricter race-day medication rules has led a legislative subcommittee that has tackled the issue to back away--at least for now.
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