Stephen Lyster, a 26-year-old Kentuckian, is trying to build a racing stable at a time when many economic indicators are down. But his family background and appreciation of the horse have him committed to the business.
Racetracks and horsemen's groups in Ohio continue to wrestle over how much purses and breed development programs will receive from track-based video lottery terminals, which were legalized earlier this year.
A Kentucky Court of Appeals judge Sept. 8 denied a request for an emergency injunction that would have idled Instant Racing machines at Kentucky Downs.
Kentucky Downs is reporting receipts of more than a half-million dollars from Instant Racing machines during their first five days of operation.
Racetracks across New York Sept. 7 will unveil a plan to amend the state constitution to permit them to offer a complete array of casino gambling as part of a proposal they say will raise revenue for the state and industry.
Amid the uncertainty of reception in the marketplace and a lingering legal challenge, Kentucky Downs officially christened expanded pari-mutuel wagering via Instant Racing machines during an evening reception Aug. 30.
The Illinois Racing Board Aug. 30 referred to staff a request by a horsemen's group to require racetracks to hold newfound purse money in segregated, interest-bearing accounts.
Hialeah Park has hired Steve Calabro, a former Gulfstream Park president, for its new position of director of gaming, and believes the courts will uphold its plans to open a casino with slots and a poker room.
The horse racing industry in Massachusetts would get a much-needed shot in the arm according to the terms of a new expanded gambling bill filed by legislators Aug. 23.
A racing regulator in Ohio said Aug. 21 it will be the middle of October for a decision is made on allowing Penn National Gaming Inc. to transfer the racing licenses of its two tracks to other locations.
With expectations that funding for the New York-bred program will increase about 100% by 2014, officials hope to strike a balance with plans to expand its offerings and rewards for owners and breeders.
Legislation authorizing the privatization of Monmouth Park and Meadowlands as well as a period of joint operation with the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority has been signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie.
MTR Gaming Group, which recently received approval to refinance its debt, reported net income of $2.3 million for the second quarter of 2011. For the same three months in 2010, the company posted a net loss of $500,000.
The New York Racing Association has struck a deal with Resorts World Casino New York by which the gaming company will operate some concessions at Aqueduct, which is being redeveloped to accommodate 4,500 gaming machines.
Penn National Gaming Inc. reported solid numbers for the second quarter of 2011 and said it expects good things from existing and potential properties despite increased competition.
Canterbury Park officials are biting at the bit to reopen July 21 after a state-imposed shutdown that lasted 20 days, but they indicated revenue losses have been serious.
The New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Fasig-Tipton, and New York Racing Association during an Aug. 13 forum will discuss the future of New York racing and breeding after video lottery terminals begin operating at Aqueduct.
Republican New York Sen. John Bonacic said he plans to schedule hearings this year to discuss horse racing and casino gambling in New York.
With Republican Gov. John Kasich preparing to sign legislation authorizing racetrack video lottery terminals and horse industry representatives already discussing strategy, a public policy group is ready to fight the plan.
In a flurry of activity June 28 both houses of the Ohio General Assembly passed legislation allowing racetracks to apply for video lottery terminal licenses.
Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino June 24 approved a new eight-year lease with Polk County that will pay the county $26 million in each of the first three years and perhaps more after that.
The Ohio House of Representatives June 23 passed legislation authorizing the relocation of racetracks that are eligible for video lottery terminal licenses.
The Ohio Roundtable, a public policy organization, said an agreement between Republican Gov. John Kasich and casino developers that includes a provision for racetrack gaming is a "clear violation" of Ohio law.
Penn National Gaming Inc. said June 16 it has a "definitive agreement" to terminate its partnership in the Maryland Jockey Club.
Churchill Downs has raised purses for its spring meet again, this time by 15% effective June 16. A 10% purse hike was announced June 3 at the Kentucky racetrack, whose meet continues through July 4.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich's "comprehensive gaming review agreement" includes provisions for the Ohio Lottery Commission to award racetracks licenses to operate video lottery terminals.
The racing industry in New York expressed concerns about new, potent competition after the Obama administration reversed course on federal policy that had blocked Indian tribes from building off-reservation casinos.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich has reached an agreement that will resume construction on casinos in Cincinnati and Cleveland -- and according to published reports permit video lottery terminals at the state's seven racetracks.
Churchill Downs Inc. expects continued growth in its online wagering business, and with a little help from the Illinois governor, expansion of its gaming operations.
Legislation calling for a huge expansion of legalized gambling in Illinois is headed to the House floor after a similar bill failed earlier in the week of May 22.
Purse revenue earned from pari-mutuel handle and racetrack slot machines dropped in 2010, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board's "benchmark report" on racetrack casinos in the state.
An Illinois House of Representatives committee May 25 failed to approve legislation that would have expanded casino gambling and awarded slot machines to racetracks in the state.
Cancellation of one program because of a lack of horses did little to dent the Delaware Park meet, which opened with enthusiasm and features a new program designed to increase attendance.
Arlington Park chairman Richard L. Duchossois said he doesn't know if the racetrack can survive unless the Illinois legislature finally allows Arlington to add slot machines.
Indiana lawmakers have passed a two-year, $28 billion budget that largely spares the horse racing and breeding industry, which was targeted for major reductions in the amount of revenue it receives from slot machines.
Penn National Gaming Inc. officials said April 21 they believe if the question of racetrack video lottery terminals makes the ballot in Texas it has a good chance to pass.
Suffolk Downs has entered into what it terms a "strategic alliance" with Caesars Entertainment to bolster its chances of developing a destination resort casino should Massachusetts approved expanded gambling.
Officials wouldn't comment April 8 on growing rumors of an impending ownership change at Turfway Park in Kentucky, but they did say plans call for live racing to continue.
Indianapolis Downs LLC, which operates Indiana Downs and its companion Indiana Live! Casino, said April 7 it has filed voluntary Chapter 11 petitions.
Representatives of Indiana's horse racing and breeding industry are lobbying against part of the proposed state budget that would reduce its share of revenue from racetrack gaming by about 55%.
- By Tom LaMarra
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association is compiling the results of a survey that shows its 30 affiliates spent almost $11 million on benevolence programs last year.
The Maryland horse industry continued to make its case for assistance March 16, urging the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee to pass legislation that would shift some revenue from VLTs to support racetrack operations.
The Maryland horse industry made its case March 15 for legislation that would shift gaming revenue from capital improvements to racetrack operations.
Churchill Downs Inc. reported net earnings from continuing operations of $19.6 million in 2010, up from $17.7 million for 2009.
Legislation that would have diverted gaming funds from several recipients including horse and dog racing in West Virginia has been altered to instead use excess video lottery terminal revenue.
The Family Foundation of Kentucky, in an about-face, is attempting to slow the process by which a ruling on Instant Racing will be issued by the courts.
Penn National Gaming Inc. confirmed March 1 it has closed on the purchase of Rosecroft Raceway, a Maryland harness track it won in a bankruptcy auction.
Cordish Cos. of Baltimore has sued the Maryland Jockey Club and the owners of Indiana Downs for allegedly conspiring to defame the company, which plans to build a slot machine casino at the Arundel Mills Mall in Maryland.
A statewide poll conducted by Baselice and Associates shows 64% of Texans support slot machines at racetracks and Indian reservations.
Two of Ohio's oldest racetracks could be relocating to other Buckeye State cities if owner Penn National Gaming Inc. has its way, but the moves won't come without opposition.
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