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.
Legislation introduced March 4 in the Kentucky House of Representatives would permit multi-jurisdictional simulcasting and interstate wagering hubs in the state. Licenses would be available to facilities that conduct live racing in Kentucky.
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.
The same week Kentucky's Thoroughbred racetracks and horsemen agreed on how to divvy up revenue from video lottery terminals or slot machines, a state legislator unveiled a plan for land-based casinos that could be operated by parties other than tracks.
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.
Kentucky legislators, seemingly receptive to the plight of the state's horse racing and breeding industry, indicated a willingness Friday to consider any proposal for assistance as long as the industry is on the same page. At a committee hearing in Frankfort, Ky., the issue of alternative gaming came up at least indirectly, and no one flinched.