The governor of West Virginia, on hand for the Aug. 1 West Virginia Derby (gr. II) at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort, said gaming at tracks was built around racing, and the sport won't be allowed to suffer in exchange for company profits.
Penn National Gaming Inc. officials see upside to an expansion of gambling in Ohio, but said they have no idea how it will shake out.
A report from the Rutgers Equine Science Center details the economic impact of horse racing and breeding in New Jersey and says revenue from alternative gaming at racetracks has supported and fueled those programs in other states.
They tapped various talking points -- from higher purses and a beefed-up breeding industry to protecting green space and even family values -- but a group of Thoroughbred representatives have brought a singular message to state officials: Get the Aqueduct video lottery terminal casino off the ground.
This year's West Virginia Breeders Classics program at Charles Town Races & Slots will be worth a record $2 million, organizers said.
The future of Ellis Park beyond this year is questionable, but it appears the Kentucky racetrack's current meet has a good chance of being expanded.
A Republican Kentucky senator who chaired the committee that killed legislation to authorize video lottery terminals at the state's racetracks has been appointed as commissioner of the Kentucky Public Service Commission by Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear.
The Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association issued a statement July 16 confirming it will have to negotiate with racetracks for purse revenue from video lottery terminals.
The Pennsylvania horse racing and breeding industry is fighting proposed legislation that could take roughly $100 million from the Race Horse Development Fund and use it to help balance the state budget, which is billions of dollars short.
It appears Ohio racetracks and horsemen's groups will have to negotiate the percentage of revenue that will go toward purses and breed development from video lottery terminals.
Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland said July 10 he will sign an executive order authorizing video lottery terminals at Ohio's seven racetracks, but questions remain as to how much revenue -- if any -- purses and breed development will receive.
Video lottery terminals at the seven racetracks in Ohio may be authorized by an executive order from Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland, a newspaper reported July 10.
Horsemen at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course will compete for $400,000 in overnight purses July 11 as part of a horsemen's appreciation program.
The expansion of gaming at racetrack casinos doesn't always guarantee more money for purses and breed development programs, horsemen said July 2 during a sobering discussion that showed horse racing's challenge to stay relevant in a revenue-driven environment.
Ellis Park owner Ron Geary said June 24 it's too soon to say a commitment from the racing industry and legislators to fight for racetrack gaming will keep his track open beyond the 2009 season. Meanwhile, Turfway Park and the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association plan to sit down soon to devise a plan that could include reductions in purses and racing dates for future meets.
Republican Sen. Damon Thayer, under heavy fire from some in the Kentucky horse industry for not being publicly proactive on racetrack gaming legislation, on June 25 outlined his position on the issue and claimed that a "political war" would only hinder the industry.
About 1,000 members of Kentucky's horse industry turned out for a short-notice rally at Keeneland June 24 and were told by officials and state lawmakers the fight for racetrack gaming isn't over.
Having failed to get a law approved permitting racetrack casinos to offer electronic table games, New York Gov. David Paterson's Lottery Division is moving ahead with plans for the new gambling devices at the state's eight racetrack-based casinos. But a lawyer who has sued the state over past gambling expansions said the Paterson administration may be playing with legal fire.
The Kentucky horse industry, in the wake of the defeat of racetrack gaming legislation, is planning a rally at the Keeneland sale pavilion in Lexington at 6:30 p.m. EDT June 24.
A party-line vote in the Republican-heavy Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee June 22 killed legislation to authorize video lottery terminals at racetracks in Kentucky.
As Ohio racetracks are busy working on a plan for racetrack gaming, horsemen's groups are lobbying the state legislature to get behind Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland's proposal for video lottery terminals at tracks.
After debate of nearly four hours June 19, the Kentucky House of Representatives approved a bill permitting video lottery terminals at racetracks. The vote was 52 in favor, 45 opposed with two abstentions.
Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, in search of money to balance the state budget, on June 19 proposed putting racetrack video lottery terminals into the budget bill.
The Indiana Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association said it was part of a discussion to assist racetracks by surrendering a portion of horsemen's revenue from slot machines but isn't a member of the coalition that issued a June 16 release to that effect.
Four horsemen's and breeders' organizations in Indiana said June 16 they will, over a three-year period, give racetracks a share of their revenue from slot machines to help stabilize the tracks.
Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino has announced a 10% purse increase for all overnight races effective June 13.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project is organizing a rally June 17 in the Capitol Rotunda to drum up support for legislation that would financially assist the horse industry.
Backstretch programs, racetrack gaming, and exclusionary practices are the primary topics for forums scheduled for the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association summer convention June 30-July 3 in Shepherdstown, W.V.
On the eve of the release of racetrack gaming legislation on the call for a special session of the Kentucky General Assembly, the state's top lawmakers debated the merits of the plan and indicated it won't be a slam dunk.
Hialeah Park will be back in business "as soon as possible" with plans to eventually add Thoroughbred racing, officials of the Florida racetrack said June 8.
Once again, the Texas legislature concluded its biannual session without passing a bill to legalize video lottery terminal at the state's racetracks. But the potential for a task force on the racing industry offers some hope for assistance.
Democratic Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear announced June 4 that racetrack gaming would be included in the special legislative session that will focus on the state budget.
Though racetrack gaming wasn't put on the initial call for a June 15 special legislative session in Kentucky, the state's horse racing industry expressed confidence the issue will be on the agenda -- and pass.
Charles Town Races & Slots will offer purse incentives in certain races with seven or more starters effective June 6 in an effort to increase field size.
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said May 29 he will call a special legislative session to deal with "the largest budget shortfall in modern Kentucky history," but stopped short of saying he will put racetrack gaming on the agenda.
The Delaware Supreme Court said a proposed sports-betting lottery doesn't conflict with the state constitution.
Kentucky racetrack operators said May 20 the state's horseracing and breeding industries have reached a critical juncture, and without legislative assistance in the form of on-track gaming, the damage could be irreparable.
Hundreds of people who make their living in Ohio's horseracing and breeding industry rallied at the state capital May 19 to support a plan for video lottery terminals at the state's seven racetracks.
As Kentucky's equine industry awaits word on whether Gov. Steve Beshear will call a special legislative session that could have racetrack gaming on the agenda, representatives of the state's racetracks and horsemen's groups will hold a press conference May 20 to discuss the state of the horse business. Meanwhile, Ohio horseracing interests plan a statehouse rally May 19 to lobby for legislative relief.
Delaware expects to offer sports betting at its three racetracks this summer under a new law that also allows the tracks to offer table games such as blackjack, craps, poker, and roulette.
Presque Isle Downs & Casino near Erie, Pa., will begin its 100-night meet May 8 with more exposure for its signal.
A "benchmark report" on slot machines in Pennsylvania shows a 39.3% increase in purses paid at Thoroughbred and Standardbred racetracks from 2007 to 2008, but double-digit declines in total pari-mutuel handle during the same period.
A decision on whether to call a special legislative session -- one that could include alternative gaming and relief for the horse industry -- will be made in a few weeks, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said April 29.
A Maryland harness track that hasn't offered live racing in almost a year also lost its Thoroughbred simulcast rights April 28 when it was ordered by the Maryland Racing Commission to cease operations.
Calder Race Course begins its 39th season of Thoroughbred horse racing April 24 with a Thursday-through Sunday schedule.
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said he has been proactive in his support of expanded gambling to assist horse racing and breeding, and the "continued tough economy may further underscore that effort."
The state of New York should abandon efforts to find new bidders to develop a video lottery terminal casino at Aqueduct and instead tap the New York Racing Association to run the long-delayed facility, a leading state lawmaker believes.
Members of the Florida House of Representatives March 24 released a draft of a bill that would require the Seminole Tribe of Florida to remove blackjack and baccarat tables from its casinos. The proposal would permit the Seminoles to keep the Class III Las Vegas-style slot machines they began installing at their Florida casinos last summer.
The chairman of an important Florida Senate committee March 24 introduced a bill that would allow Gulfstream Park and Calder Race Course to have blackjack and baccarat, while permitting the Seminole Tribe of Florida to keep those two games and add roulette and crap tables at its casinos.
The head of Delaware's gambling industry group said Democratic Gov. Jack Markell's proposed budget would be devastating to the state's three racetracks, including Delaware Park.
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