Ohio

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Plan to Boost Ohio Racing Appears Doomed

Final approval of a live racing schedule for 2005 in Ohio stalled again Nov. 2 and put in jeopardy an Ohio State Racing Commission-led effort to reduce dates in an attempt to improve economic conditions for the horse racing industry.

Ohio Racing Dates Cut; HBPA Wants Assurances

A plan to reduce live racing dates in Ohio by more than 10% in an effort to keep the horse racing industry afloat may hinge on an agreement between three Thoroughbred tracks and the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.

Ohio Panel to Probe Illegal Video Gambling Devices

The Ohio State Racing Commission has opened its own investigation into a state Department of Public Safety report that video gambling machines were operating in a bar on property that includes the Cedar Downs off-track betting parlor in the northwest portion of the state.

In Ohio, Serious Proposal for Serious Times

Racetracks and horsemen's groups are considering a proposal by the chairman of the Ohio State Racing Commission to radically reduce live racing dates--several hundred could be eliminated--in order to boost purses and increase field size in 2005.

Thistledown Wins a Battle in Simulcast War

Thistledown, the Magna Entertainment Corp.-owned racetrack that has battled for years over simulcasts with a neighboring harness track, received approval Aug. 10 from the Ohio State Racing Commission to import races it hasn't been able to take because of state law.

Tah Dah!--Late Announcer's Name Added to Stakes

River Downs has added the name of Kevin Goemmer, the former announcer at the Ohio racetrack, to a stakes named for one of his favorite racehorses. Goemmer, who most recently worked for Charlson Broadcast Technologies, died earlier this year at the age of 48.

Thistledown Increases Purses

Beginning July 5th, Thistledown will offer a 7% purse increase on $10,000 claiming races and above and a 5% purse increase on those races under $10,000. The purse increase is a direct effect of increased field size, export handle and record-breaking Triple Crown and Ohio Derby days, according to a release from the track.

Ohio VLT Proposal Appears on Fast Track--Again

Supporters of legislation to allow video lottery terminals at Ohio's seven racetracks hope to win approval to put the proposal on the November ballot before the legislative session ends for the summer.

Mediation in Ohio Breed Dispute Remains a No-Go

A stalemate between Thoroughbred and Standardbred horsemen in Ohio continued when the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association declined a proposal by the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association to submit to mediation to resolve financial issues tied to state law.

Ohio Governor Again Says He Opposes Casino Gambling

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Ohio Gov. Bob Taft has again stated his opposition to installation of video lottery terminals at the state's seven racetracks. Meanwhile, a key legislator has suggested non-track casinos be located in urban areas.

Ohio Commission to Support Expansion of Audit

The Ohio State Racing Commission, subject of an investigation by the state Office of Inspector General, has agreed to allocate funds to expand the scope of its customary audit. The more detailed audit will look closely at issues raised in the probe.

Account-Bet Deal Struck; National Policy Sought

The Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and Beulah Park have struck a deal on revenue splits for account wagering, but the chief negotiator for the horsemen's group called it a big-picture issue that needs attention and leadership on the national level.

AmericaTab Chief: 'Fragmented Industry' Must Change

The president of a growing account wagering service said handle declines at major winter meets aren't good for racing, and he suggested it's time for a "fragmented industry" to move forward in the best interests of its customers, racetracks, and horsemen.

In Ohio, Jury Still Out on Account Wagering Revenue

The Ohio State Racing Commission Feb. 19 deferred action on a request from the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association to withhold Thoroughbred signals that originate in the state from account wagering companies. It scheduled a hearing for March 1 to further discuss the issue.

Ohio HBPA Seeks Mediator in Lingering Breed Dispute

The Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has asked the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association to agree to mediation in an effort to resolve "program and policy differences" between the Thoroughbred and Standardbred industries in the state.

Longtime Track Announcer Goemmer Dies in Accident

Kevin Goemmer, a longtime track announcer and most recently director of sales and marketing for Charlson Broadcast Technologies, suffered an apparent heart attack and died Jan. 27 in a motor vehicle accident. Goemmer, 48, continued to call races on a fill-in basis, most recently at Turfway Park, and was regarded as one of the best in the business.

Early Numbers Up at Beulah; Sets Single Day Wagering Record

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Beulah Park kicked off its first four days of racing in 2004 with a staggering 96% percent increase over the same number of days a year ago. On Monday the track shattered an 81-year-old all time single day pari-mutuel record of $1,554,073.

MEC Move Creates Account-Wagering Dilemma

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Magna Entertainment Corp. initiated restrictions upon or pulled its live racing signals from most account-wagering services effective Dec. 26, and at least one operator isn't happy about the developments.

Ohio Horsemen Force Issue on Account Wagering

A two-month shutdown of Beulah Park was averted Dec. 18 when the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and track management agreed to at least negotiate revenue splits from account wagering. If no deal is in place by Feb. 10, horsemen will withdraw permission for Ohio's live racing product to be sent to account-betting providers.

Racetrack Gaming Push Hits Another Wall in Ohio

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Legislation to put the issue of racetrack video lottery terminals on the ballot in March 2004 has been killed in the Ohio General Assembly, a lobbyist said Dec. 2, the deadline to get the measure passed.

Compromise on Ohio VLTs as Deadline Looms

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A compromise proposal to put the issue of racetrack video lottery terminals before voters has been offered in the Ohio Senate, though it must pass the General Assembly by Dec. 3 if it is to make the ballot.

New Vocations Auction a Success at Thistledown

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The 4th Annual Silent Auction to benefit New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program was held at Thistledown on Breeders' Cup Day. Over 60 individuals donated art, memorabilia, tickets to sporting events, tack, gift items, and services. The merchandise portion generated $4,079 while additional monetary contributions amounted to $3,975 for a fundraiser total of $8,054.

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