Slot machines may help purses, but in a competitive environment--even in the same state--they don't guarantee a large horse population if one New York track is any indication.
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 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.
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 that would allow slot machines at Indiana's two pari-mutuel racetracks was endorsed by a Senate committee on a 9-3 vote March 20, but there are concerns about a $400-million license fee each track would have to pay for the right to operate slots.
If West Virginia's governor signs legislation passed by both houses of the state legislature, voters in four counties will decide the fate of table games at four racetracks in the state.
Two Kentucky legislators are asking why the horse industry, which annually contributes $4 billion to the state's economy, won't have broad representation at an upcoming agriculture summit.
Maryland lawmakers again addressed the issue of racetrack slot machines in committee March 6, but passage of legislation is hardly assured.
The West Virginia Senate March 6 voted to legalize table games at the state's horse and dog racing tracks. The bill, which already passed the House of Delegates, must return there for concurrence.
Legislation to authorize casino gambling at racetracks and non-racing facilities has been introduced again in the Kentucky House of Representatives.
Legislation to authorize slot machines at Indiana's two pari-mutuel racetracks has cleared a second House committee.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project is pushing legislation that would remove the sales tax on equine feed and supplies in the state.
The West Virginia House of Delegates has approved legislation that would allow the counties in which four racetracks are located to vote on table games at the facilities, which already have video lottery terminals.
Kentucky tracks would get a tax break for one major racing event per year under legislation introduced in the state General Assembly.
National Thoroughbred Racing Association president Alex Waldrop said the organization continues to be relevant, but industry stakeholders must commit to its long-term health.
An Illinois legislator said he would propose an expansion of gambling that would include racetrack slot machines.
A Virginia House of Delegates committee is scheduled to tackle legislation to authorize Instant Racing at a Jan. 30 hearing.
Kentucky Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Beshear said Jan. 16 he supports a plan for casino gambling that could generate hundreds of millions in tax revenue to help fund education and road construction.
Another bill to authorize slot machines at Maryland racetracks has been introduced in the House of Delegates.
Suffolk Downs prepared to resume simulcasting Jan. 3 after the approval of enabling legislation by Massachusetts lawmakers late in the day Jan. 2.
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.
Massachusetts racetracks could shut down Jan. 1 if the state legislature doesn't approve a bill to extend a law governing simulcasts through November 2007.
The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association is contributing $23,000 to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, but not without voicing displeasure with the Jockeys' Guild.
Representatives of horsemen's groups criticized for not supporting the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund questioned jockeys' support for the fund and said pursuit of legislation that would amend the Interstate Horseracing Act has damaged relations between horsemen and jockeys.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association will place more emphasis on federal legislative activities and public relations, the board of directors announced after a Dec. 13 meeting in Palm Beach, Fla.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the "Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act" (S. 3880) by voice vote Nov.13. The bill clarifies that it is a crime to damage or interfere with a legitimate, legal animal enterprise.
Jess Jackson reaffirmed his passionate commitment to help clean up unscrupulous tactics in the sales and auction industry Nov. 3 as part of an all-star cast discussing issues in the "Thoroughbred Industry Forum 2006" at Churchill Downs.
A law that raises the deduction a landowner can take for donating a conservation easement was the subject of a press conference near Lexington.
The recent death of a harness driver and lingering concerns over jockey safety have led a Delaware legislator to propose omnibus safety legislation for horse racing in the state.
Supporters of legislation that would ban the transport of horses to slaughter for human consumption are hopeful the measure will pass Congress this year, a co-sponsor of the bill said May 3. Meanwhile, members of the Kentucky horse industry have united to form the Kentucky Equine Humane Center, a shelter and adoption service for unwanted horses of all breeds.
Representatives of the horse industry are among those lobbying to protect their interests as the United States Congress considers sweeping immigration reform.
Differences of opinion regarding the continuously changing bill for Kentucky casino gaming caused its consideration to be postponed Wednesday by the House Committee on Licensing and Occupations until the week of March 13.
In general, reaction in the Thoroughbred industry has been positive to a Kentucky bill that is designed to protect horse buyers from being defrauded.
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.
Legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives prohibits the use of credit for Internet gambling but contains provisions to protect interstate pari-mutuel wagering.
Members of the U.S. House of Representatives are calling on the National Labor Relations Board and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health to take action to protect jockeys, exercise riders, and others who work with racehorses.
Companion legislation to the Equine Equity Act, which grants financial concessions to the horse industry, has been introduced in the United States House of Representatives.
The U.S. Senate Sept. 20 voted 68-29 in favor of an amendment to bar federal funds from being used to facilitate horse slaughter.
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.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association's ongoing efforts in Washington, D.C. have become the major carrot as the organization seeks to sign up horsemen's associations for five-year memberships effective in 2006.
The Thoroughbred industry, bolstered by the efforts of its political action committee, has a decent chance to get key legislation passed in Washington, D.C., officials with the National Thoroughbred Racing Association said.
With a large increase in the number of horse owners that supplied information, a new economic impact study for the horse industry, the first in almost 10 years, is expected to be more statistically reliable than its 1996 counterpart.
Language that would authorize two breed development funds and eliminate a tax on the sale of yearlings and 2-year-olds in Kentucky has been delivered to Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher for possible inclusion in a tax modernization plan that could be unveiled in early February.
The winter convention of the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States will feature a "Thoroughbred Summit" at which speakers will discuss the changing forces impacting the pari-mutuel industry.
A Kentucky legislator with close ties to the horse industry hopes tax breaks and a breed development program are included in a tax modernization proposal Gov. Ernie Fletcher plans to push during the 2005 session of the General Assembly.
Assembly member Jerome E. Horton announced legislation Dec. 7 to combat illegal substances in California racehorses, in particular milkshakes.
The Foreign Sales Corporation bill, which includes a provision to strike the 30% withholding tax charged to foreigners for winnings on United States races, was signed into law Oct. 22 by President Bush.
The United States Senate on July 15 agreed by voice vote to send the foreign sales corporation bill, which includes provisions to eliminate the 30% withholding tax on winnings by foreign bettors and reduce the capital gains holding period for horses from two years to one, to conference.
The U.S. Senate passed an international tax bill that includes two provisions that are favorable for the horse industry. The first is the clarification that the 30% alien withholding provision does not apply to nonresident aliens wagering in foreign countries; the second is a reduction in the holding period for horses to qualify for capitol gains treatment from 24 months to 12 months.
A major corporate tax bill under consideration in the United States Senate includes a few provisions for the pari-mutuel industry, including elimination of the 30% withholding tax on bets made by foreigners.
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