The nation's financial crisis has stepped up efforts to prod state government in New York to select an operator for the long-stalled video lottery terminal casino at Aqueduct, and launched a renewed effort to bring VLTs to Belmont Park.
This year's International Simulcast Conference opened Sept. 29 with some advice to the horseracing industry: Embrace the "whales" and computer-assisted wagering, and close some tracks to help improve the product at those that remain.
A new stakes worth up to $1 million will be offered next year at Charles Town Races & Slots in West Virginia.
The Supreme Court of Florida Sept. 11 denied a request by the Seminole Tribe of Florida and Gov. Charlie Crist for a re-hearing on its July 3 ruling that blackjack and baccarat are illegal at the tribe's Hollywood, Fla., casino.
Rick Moore, general manager at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, is leaving the Indiana track after 14 years, officials announced Aug. 29, opening day of the Thoroughbred meet. His last day will be Sept. 12.
Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino, which opened in the spring of 2004, is scheduled to offer its first turf race Sept. 1.
Hoosier Park Racing & Casino kicks off a 14th season of Thoroughbred racing Aug. 29, and the 63-day meet will be one of change.
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission approved a plan Aug. 14 that calls for significant increases to purses offered through the Thoroughbred Breed Development program at the upcoming Hoosier Park meet.
Suffolk Downs and Wonderland Greyhound Park have reached a partnership agreement allowing Suffolk to buy the dog track, and maybe help the owners land a casino gambling franchise.
Major stakes will be scrapped and the Pimlico Race Course barn area closed until next year's spring meet under changes announced Aug. 6.
Total purses earned at Pennsylvania racetracks jumped 162% from 2006 to 2007 because of revenue from on-track slot machines, while the percentage of purses earned from pari-mutuel wagering dropped substantially during the same period, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board's first "benchmark report" on the impact of slots on pari-mutuel wagering.
Despite downward trends in wagering nationwide, Indiana Downs bucked the trend by staying relatively flat during its 54-day Thoroughbred meet that ended July 8.
The New York Racing Association has been granted another temporary extension to continue operating during most of the Saratoga meet while it negotiates a final deal with the state for a 25-year franchise.
The outspoken leader of Capital Play, one of the entities vying for the big Aqueduct video lottery casino deal, is stepping down.
The slots era in Indiana is off to a strong start as the casinos at both Hoosier Park and Indiana Downs combined to pull in a little more than $26 million in adjusted gross receipts during the first month of operation.
The Ohio State Racing Commission said July 8 that most Ohio racetracks would probably install Keno terminals at their facilities when the game launches in the state Aug. 4.
Penn National Gaming Inc. said July 7 it has secured an exclusive 18-month option to purchase about 36 acres in Cecil County, Md., for the purpose of constructing a slot-machine casino.
Churchill Downs Inc. announced July 7 that it has signed contracts with the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association on 2008 purses and on potential future slot machine revenue at CDI-owned Calder Race Course.
The TRA and KEEP have weighed in on the announced closure of Ellis Park in western Kentucky. They blame lack of a long-term, industry strategy on advance deposit wagering, and inability to compete with other states, respectively.
The Supreme Court of Florida ruled July 3 that Gov. Charlie Crist exceeded his authority last November when he signed a compact that has permitted the Seminole Tribe of Florida to have Class III Las Vegas-style slot machines, blackjack, and baccarat.
The Seminole Tribe of Florida is preparing for the June 22 launch of blackjack and baccarat at its Hollywood, Fla., casino located 10 miles from Gulfstream Park, one of the racetracks that filed suits to stop the Seminole gaming expansion.
The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association's general counsel said June 10 his organization could sign agreements "in the very near future" on 2008 purses and future slot-machine revenue at Calder Race Course.
The temporary "Indiana Live!" slot-machine casino at Indiana Downs opened to the public June 9, ushering in a richer future for the state's horsemen. But purses won't be going up any time soon.
Illinois' richest riverboat casinos must pay part of their profits to horse owners and racetracks, the state Supreme Court ruled June 5.
The slots era for Indiana horse racing officially began June 2 when Hoosier Park Racing & Casino opened its doors to the public.
A backstretch improvement program has begun at Hollywood Casino at Penn National, which will spend up to $10 million over the next 10 years to build new barns, refurbish old ones, and make other barn-area upgrades.
Though it has no regulatory oversight of equine health and safety, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has adopted a resolution saying it supports the state's efforts to "invest in horse health and welfare."
Iberville Parish, La., voters should be allowed to cast ballots on whether they want a new racetrack with slot machines, the Louisiana House voted May 21.
A Magna Entertainment Corp. executive said the company has no plans to sell either of its Maryland racetracks but indicated the results of a statewide November referendum on slot machines could play a role in any decision.
As horseracing interests lobby for slot machines in Illinois, two former state legislators have floated a $31-billion infrastructure plan that would be paid in part by expanded gambling in the state.
The Maryland racing industry is throwing its support behind a campaign for slot machines, but it remains to be seen whether any racetracks would get the gambling devices should the public approve a statewide ballot measure in November.
Indiana Downs enjoyed a promising start to its 54-day Thoroughbred meet April 25-26, with large crowds and strong wagering. Indiana Downs will offer racing through July 8.
The Delaware Certified Thoroughbred Program, formed earlier in the decade to preserve farmland and offer incentives for horses domiciled in the state, now has almost 1,300 registered Thoroughbreds, according to the Delaware Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association.
As Calder Race Course prepares to open its 2008 meet April 21, the question of how to divide any future slot-machine revenue is holding up contract talks between the Miami Gardens, Fla., track and the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protection Association.
Lonny Powell, most recently an executive with Youbet.com, is helping a group identify and examine potential racetrack purchases.
The chairman of the Kentucky Equine Education Project said the organization is "disappointed" not only in the failure of legislation calling for a constitutional amendment on casino gambling, but also with the way the measure was handled from the beginning of this year's General Assembly session.
The Florida Senate approved March 13 two slot-machine bills that would help the state's Thoroughbred racetracks and other pari-mutuel facilities. However, there is considerable opposition to the bills in the Florida House of Representatives, and the influential Seminole Tribe of Florida is expressing concerns about the legislation.
Steroids, new emergency rules for horse racing, and updates on racetrack casino construction at Hoosier Park and Indiana Downs dominated the discussion during the March 11 Indiana Horse Racing Commission meeting.
The financial health of Magna Entertainment Corp. could become part of the debate about legalizing slot machines in Maryland, as supporters and detractors ready for a statewide referendum in November.
With a contentious proposal to legalize casinos stalled in the House, a lawmaker is floating a compromise measure that would allow only slot machines and video poker at Kentucky racetracks.
Two bills that would help Thoroughbred racetracks, the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co., and the state's other pari-mutuel facilities will be on the calendar when the Florida legislature begins its annual two-month session March 4.
An executive with experience working at racetrack casinos said Feb. 25 that even though slot machines are the revenue driver, horse racing has value and can have even more if gaming and racing factions work together.
In an attempt to recruit people to support the proposed constitutional amendment for expanded gaming, the Kentucky Equine Education Project urged its members to attend a Feb. 26 committee meeting hearing for the bill, as well as a horse trailer caravan "rally" the same day in Frankfort.
The "Smarty slots" in Pennsylvania have been jingling for more than a year. In Kentucky, where the racing industry views Pennsylvania as a major threat, casino legislation broke from the gate in a tangle yet again this year.
Isle Racing & Casino at Pompano Park is delaying a decision on possible cancellation of some March and April racing dates.
Action on recommended revisions to a constitutional amendment to authorize a vote on casino gambling in Kentucky will wait until the week of Feb. 24.
Isle Racing & Casino at Pompano Park will cut race purses about 35% starting Feb. 22, and will not hold harness racing on Monday and Wednesday nights during most of March and April.
A legislative subcommittee studying expanded gambling in Kentucky has recommended a revised constitutional amendment that reduces the number of casinos permitted in the state to nine, requires local approval of some sort for all casinos, and removes dedicated percentages for gaming revenue.
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear unveiled legislation Feb. 14 calling for a constitutional amendment to allow for up to 12 casinos--seven at racetracks and five at non-racetrack locations.
Gulfstream Park's $75,000 Shotintheheart Handicap Feb. 14 will be the first of as many as four Florida-bred stakes it will add this season.
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