Saying it was "poor public policy," a three-person horse racing transition panel has concluded the Ontario government did the right thing by ending the slots-at-racetracks program.
With one exception, there could be little change in live racing dates at Ohio tracks in 2013, but significant alterations are possible for 2014 should more facilities begin operating video lottery terminals.
The company whose permit to operate Thistledown was approved by the Ohio State Racing Commission Aug. 22 indicated the planned video lottery terminal operation at the racetrack will be more than temporary.
Just days before a government panel is set to release recommendations for the future of horse racing in Ontario, the industry is receiving support from politicians questioning the end of the slots-at-racetracks program.
The clock is running on what could be a final push to authorize Illinois racetracks to run slot machines many in the industry see as vital to survival.
The Ohio State Racing Commission July 10 began the process of transferring racing licenses from existing racetracks to new locations.
The only racetrack gaming facility in Ohio generated $11 million in revenue in its first month of operation, the Ohio Lottery Commission reported.
The Pennsylvania Equine Coalition said thank you to the state legislature July 2 for sparing most of the $72 million that could have been cut from the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development Fund.
Penn National Gaming Inc. on June 30 filed requests for video lottery terminals and to relocate its two Ohio racetracks.
Protecting purse revenue from alternative gaming can be as hard, or harder, than winning legislative approval for it, horsemen said June 30 during a National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association roundtable talk.
The Ohio Roundtable has appealed a Common Pleas Court ruling that said it didn't have legal standing to sue the state and others over the 2011 law that legalized racetrack video lottery terminals.
Penn National Gaming Inc. is preparing applications in Ohio for video lottery terminals and relocation in connection with its plan to move Beulah Park to the Youngstown area.
As Woodbine prepares to hold the 153rd edition of the Queen's Plate June 24, Nick Eaves, the track's president, stunned the crowd at the June 21 post-position draw by revealing that Woodbine may be forced to close next April.
The Ohio State Racing Commission probably will rule on racetrack license transfers during the third quarter of this year, OSRC chairman Robert Schmitz said June 11.
The Ontario government announced June 7 it will provide up to $50 million in transitional funding to the province's horse racing industry over the next three years.
The Fort Erie Live Racing Consortium announced after its general meeting June 5 that Fort Erie Racetrack will hold its last live race this year.
The owner of Thistledown near Cleveland said June 6 it has a memorandum of understanding with the State of Ohio to install video lottery terminals at the racetrack, but also reserves the right to move the operation.
Slot machine revenue for purses increased by more than $19 million at six Pennsylvania racetracks in 2011, while pari-mutuel handle and the revenue it produces for prize money continued to drop.
Language pertaining to the horse racing industry remained intact May 24 when the Ohio House of Representatives and Senate passed a casino cleanup bill that was sent to Republican Gov. John Kasich for his signature.
The Illinois House of Representatives May 23 again passed a gaming expansion bill that would authorize slot machines at Illinois racetracks. However, Gov. Pat Quinn found fault with the measure.
It appears Scioto Downs, a harness track in Columbus, will be the first racetrack in Ohio to open its video lottery terminal casino.
The owner of Delta Downs Racetrack & Casino has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Peninsula Gaming, which owns Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino, for $1.45 billion.
An executive with Woodbine Entertainment Group has told local officials its Woodbine racetrack will not survive if slot machines are removed from the facility in March of next year.
Hialeah Park is calling off its plan for a possible return of Thoroughbred racing in April and May of 2013 but still hopes to open a casino with slot machines next year.
Delaware Park opened its 75th season of Thoroughbred racing on a picture-perfect afternoon May 12 with a large, yet it was also set to face some challenges for the 100-day meet.
Casino cleanup legislation passed by the Ohio Senate May 10 has some new horse racing-related language, including a section that ensures the industry will get no less than 9% of gross revenue from racetrack VLTs.
The Pennsylvania Senate May 10 approved a $27.6 billion state budget that restores almost $70 million that would have been cut from the slot machine-supported Race Horse Development Fund.
After months of wrangling over minor details in the contract for the 2012 live meet that begins June 2, Suffolk Downs and the New England Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association have reached an agreement.
Penn National Gaming Inc., which owns two racetracks in Ohio, said it will run full live racing schedules at both tracks for the rest of this year and possibly next year depending on resolution of a legal challenge.
Delaware Park and the Delaware Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association signed a one-year contract May 2 after months of contentious negotiations.
Canterbury Park didn't get slot machines, but it did win changes expected to generate more revenue from its card club to support purses.
The Florida Supreme Court April 27 upheld a decision by a lower state court that authorizes Hialeah Park to have a casino with Las Vegas-style slot machines.
Casino operator Pinnacle Entertainment said April 26 one of its subsidiaries has an agreement to purchase a 75.5% interest in Retama Park, which is located near San Antonio, Texas.
The Ontario government April 24 passed a 2012 provincial budget that ends the slots-at-racetracks program operated by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp in March 2013.
The future of the Ontario horse racing industry could be placed in serious peril April 24, when a vote on the 2012 Ontario provincial budget is scheduled.
Finger Lakes Casino & Racetrack in western New York will celebrate its 50th year of Thoroughbred racing with a 163-day meet that begins April 20.
Presque Isle Downs & Casino now has 668 stalls after building two 48-stall barns in advance of its 2012 meet, officials said April 17.
A poll commissioned by Woodbine Entertainment Group indicates a majority of the Toronto, Ontario, residents surveyed oppose locating a casino downtown, and that slightly more than half support a full-scale casino at Woodbine.
The Ohio Roundtable contended in oral arguments April 3 that a 2011 law passed by the Ohio General Assembly allowing the state Lottery Commission to install video lottery terminals at racetracks is unconstitutional.
A Cleveland, Ohio-area racetrack has partnered with a casino company to develop a gaming facility with video lottery terminals and related entertainment offerings.
A 167-day meet at Woodbine in Ontario, Canada, is set to begin April 6, but the lingering slots-at-racetracks issue could make the 2012 meet the last one of its kind.
The Ontario government budget released March 27 calls for an end to the province's slots-at-racetrack program, but political opponents claim the fight isn't over.
Canterbury Park Holding Corp., despite temporary shutdown of operations last summer at Canterbury Park, reported positive financial figures for 2011 and the fourth quarter of last year.
The Minnesota Senate State Government Committee March 19 voted 8-5 against a measure that would have authorized casino-style gambling, including slot machines, at Canterbury Park and Running Aces Harness Park.
The United States Trotting Association has formed a committee to examine a proposal to use a small percentage of gaming revenue to support marketing and enhanced equine drug testing, but stopped short of endorsing the plan.
Penn National Gaming Inc. said March 16 it has reached an agreement with Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich to relocate two racetracks in the state to capitalize on video lottery terminals in new markets.
The Pennsylvania Horse Conference served as platform for racehorse owners, breeders, and trainers to tout support from several lawmakers who oppose a plan cut gaming revenue to purses and breed development programs.
Just two days after the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. announced it will end the slots-at-racetracks program in the province in March 2013, it acted swiftly by revealing that slots parlors at three tracks will close.
A proposal floated by Jeff Gural, who leases Meadowlands and operates two racetrack casinos in upstate New York, to use a percentage of gaming revenue for other pro-racing programs has support among USTA members.
The Ontario provincial government said March 12 it will be ending payments to racetracks through the slots-at-racetracks program in March 2013. The result could mean potential closures for many of the province's 17 tracks.
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