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.
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.
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.
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.
Ohio horsemen are lobbying the state Senate to alter language in House-passed legislation that would shift pari-mutuel revenue for breeding funds to municipalities that host racetracks.
The Pennsylvania horse racing and breeding industry, which could lose about $70 million a year in gaming revenue under the proposed state budget, has organized a conference geared toward educating lawmakers.
Stakes purses at the Belmont Park and Saratoga meets this year will increase roughly 27%, while overnight purses will jump about 42%, the New York Racing Association said Feb. 29.
Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort will begin its 10-month meet March 2 with some upgrades and increased promotion, but officials also are keeping an eye on neighboring states as they expand gambling opportunities.
New York's nine racetracks, which are lobbying to expand their businesses into full-fledged casinos, claim 8,200 permanent jobs would be created if they are permitted to enhance their gaming operations.
A Kentucky senator who chairs a committee that passed a constitutional amendment on expanded gambling Feb. 22 said he will oppose a call to have the bill voted on by the full Senate Feb. 23.
Oral arguments on a lawsuit filed to stop the installation of video lottery terminals at Ohio racetracks has been postponed to give interested parties a chance to intervene.
The Pennsylvania Equine Coalition has blasted a budget proposal by Gov. Tom Corbett to take roughly $72 million in each of the next three years from the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development Fund to pay for other programs.
Legislation that would divert gaming revenue for horse racing to other sources has been introduced in Maryland, and in Pennsylvania the governor has taken similar action in his 2012-13 state budget.
The New Hampshire House of Representatives will take up expanded gambling when a full vote on HB593 comes to the floor Feb. 8 and passage could bring the return of live Thoroughbred racing one step closer.
Penn National Gaming Inc. now plans to request to move Beulah Park near Columbus, Ohio, to a site near Youngstown rather than Dayton, according to its latest financial report.
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said Jan. 31 he expects a casino gambling amendment to be introduced "in a few days," and again accused Republican Sen. President David Williams of attempting to derail the process.
A central Ohio racetrack is the first of seven tracks in the state to receive a license to install and operate video lottery terminals.
A study commissioned by a partnership of Kentucky horse racing interests shows that casinos at eight racetrack locations would have a first-year economic impact of $1.7 billion.
Efforts to facilitate installation of video lottery terminals at Ohio racetracks continued to quicken Dec. 22 when a public policy group that filed suit over VLTs was given a deadline to respond to motions to dismiss.
The parent company of Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort in West Virginia and Presque Isle Downs & Casino in Pennsylvania is the first to apply for a video lottery terminal license in Ohio.
Despite taking a financial hit because of a state-imposed shutdown during its live race meet this summer, Canterbury Park will stay the course with its regular schedule in 2012.
The Massachusetts legislature Nov. 16 passed a bill authorizing casinos in the state, and Gov. Deval Patrick is expected to sign it.
Legislation authorizing slot machines at racetracks has stalled again as the Illinois General Assembly extended its fall session until after Thanksgiving.
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