A surprisingly good night for business on a winter evening at Turfway Park doesn't hide the fact Kentucky's year-round Thoroughbred racing industry is in serious trouble.
A transition committee has submitted a report that recommends statewide consolidation of the New Jersey horse racing industry, shorter Thoroughbred meets at Monmouth Park, and the opening of more off-track betting parlors.
Legislation calling for a constitutional amendment on any expansion of gambling in Kentucky passed a Senate committee Jan. 20 on a predictable party-line vote.
Democratic Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear called the state legislature's bluff Jan. 19 by presenting a two-year budget that relies on more than $700 million in revenue from gaming machines at racetracks.
Dennis Drazin, a longtime Thoroughbred owner and breeder who has served as president of the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, has been confirmed as a member of the New Jersey Racing Commission.
The Delaware Sports and Video Lottery Commission Jan. 12 rejected the results of a study that suggests adding two casinos in the state would increase revenue and jobs.
The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation recently appointed Milton Champion director of the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering.
As the Delaware government awaits the results of an independent study into the expansion of casino gambling in the state, a study commissioned by three racetracks concluded the addition of casinos will cannibalize the market.
NYRA president Charles Hayward said the state needs to choose a casino operator for Aqueduct or the association will run out of money in June, which puts the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) at risk. As of now, the race will be run.
The Anne Arundel County Council Dec. 21 approved a zoning measure that will facilitate slot machines at the Arundel Mills Mall, but also OK'd a measure that allows slots at Laurel Park.
A new entity called Blow Horn Equity has submitted a bid for the Maryland Jockey Club assets, the company announced Dec. 18.
The Maryland Jockey Club said Dec. 17 it has appealed to the Maryland State Board of Contract Appeals over its disqualification from the bidding process for a license to operate slot machines at Laurel Park.
Florida's Thoroughbred industry will enter 2010 without the expanded racing, other gaming, and tax breaks it thought it had gained during this year's session of the state legislature.
Though a state commission ruled its application for a gaming license incomplete, Laurel Park will continue its push for slot machines Dec. 17 by discussing its "advanced status" to construct a slots facility.
A Kentucky lawmaker has again requested an opinion from the state attorney general as to whether Instant Racing machines are legal under pari-mutuel statutes.
The federal government has given preliminary recognition to a Long Island Indian tribe, setting in motion development of a possible casino close to the New York Racing Association's two downstate tracks.
As the Kentucky Equine Education Project vows to continue its legislative push for racetrack gaming, a state lawmaker plans to move forward with his plan for statewide and local option votes on gaming.
Charles Town Races & Slots won approval Dec. 5 to install table games to go along with its 5,000 video lottery terminals.
With the Illinois state budget in a shambles and a video gaming in bars and restaurants going nowhere as a solution, racetracks again are urging lawmakers to allow them to install slot machines.
Ken Lowe was elected president of the Charles Town Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, defeating incumbent Randy Funkhouser.
Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico has indicated it will stay put if it gets tax relief from the state, but if not it plans to move to Las Cruces, located about 85 miles southwest.
Canterbury Park Holding Corp., parent of Canterbury Park in Minnesota, reported a gain in income for the third quarter of 2009.
Pinnacle Race Course in Michigan has been approved by the Office of the Racing Commissioner to race 84 days in 2010.
The Kentucky Breeders Incentive Fund could be reduced by 30% because of declining revenue, while horse farms "can't withstand another year like 2009," Kentucky lawmakers were told Nov. 10 during a meeting of the Joint Subcommittee on Horse Farming.
The Saratoga Race Course Local Advisory Board has asked state government leaders to resolve the issue of selecting an operator for the video lottery terminal project at Aqueduct.
All five remaining bidders for the Aqueduct gaming project said they have met a Nov. 6 deadline to guarantee a quick $200-million payment to the state of New York if they are chosen to develop the video lottery terminal casino at the Queens racetrack.
Republican Kentucky Sen. Damon Thayer has prefiled legislation calling for a constitutional amendment to authorize racetrack video lottery terminals.
Ohio voters Nov. 3 approved casinos on the fifth try by gambling supporters in the past two decades, and Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear immediately issued a statement saying Kentucky must respond.
The president of Churchill Downs Inc. said he believes recent developments with the makeup of the Kentucky General Assembly are positive and could help lead to legalization of video lottery terminals at racetracks in the state.
Indianapolis-based Centaur, which owns Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson, Ind., recently missed interest payments and has defaulted on loans in excess of $400 million.
Delaware Park raced 27 fewer days this year but registered increases in total handle and average daily handle, track officials said Oct. 28.
The Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering Oct. 27 approved Hialeah Park's application to hold a 40-day Quarter Horse meet beginning Nov. 28.
A plan by Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort to offer the statutory minimum of 210 racing dates but race only eight months instead of year-round has met with opposition from horsemen and others in the community.
California Thoroughbred racetracks, subject to regulatory approval, could increase pari-mutuel takeout -- return less money to bettors -- and change how the revenue is distributed under legislation signed into law Oct. 23 by Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Republican Sen. Dan Kelly, a member of the Senate committee that killed racetrack gaming legislation during a special General Assembly session earlier this year, was appointed by Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear as an 11th Judicial Circuit judge.
Churchill Downs and Kentucky horsemen have reached a three-year agreement that sets purse payments, establishes purse supplements and ends a legal dispute that began in the spring of 2008.
Charles Town Races & Slots said Oct. 22 it has broad support from Thoroughbred owners and breeders for a Dec. 5 referendum to authorize the West Virginia racetrack to add casino-style table games, but issues that divide management and horsemen remain.
Kentucky's horse racing and breeding industry plans to stand its ground in the wake of a proposal for a constitutional amendment on gaming some have characterized as a politically-motivated stall tactic.
Calder Race Course is preparing marketing plans for poker and a casino president and general manager Tom O'Donnell expects will attract a significant number of customers from some nearby pari-mutuel facilities and tribal casinos in southeast Florida.
Jockeys' Guild national manager Terry Meyocks, formerly an executive with the New York Racing Association, will seek the Kentucky Senate seat currently held by Republican Alice Forgy Kerr in the November 2010 election.
Another showdown is brewing over whether Michigan racetracks should be allowed to open casinos in an effort to revive their struggling businesses. A group called Racing to Save Michigan wants voters to decide the issue in November 2010, and on Oct. 14, the Michigan Board of State Canvassers unanimously approved the form of a petition the group plans to circulate within the next six weeks.
- By Tom LaMarra
If the horseracing industry fails to make voluntary changes it has resisted for decades, the only things that may save it from doom are involuntary changes brought on by forces in the gambling and entertainment marketplace, officials said Oct. 13.
Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell has signed into law a budget for Pennsylvania that reduces the share of revenue horse racing gets from slot machines by about 17% over four years.
Pro-racetrack gaming forces in Ohio have taken a strong stand in opposition to a November referendum on full casino gambling in the state's four largest cities.
Democratic Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland Sept. 30 put his plan for racetrack video lottery terminals on hold indefinitely in light of a recent state Supreme Court ruling and a need to balance the state budget.
Penn National Gaming Inc., believed to be facing an uphill battle in the bidding wars to develop a video lottery terminal casino at Aqueduct, has offered the cash-starved New York state government $250 million in a non-contingency, upfront payment for the exclusive contract and believes it's still in the hunt for the project.
Negotiators in New York have tentatively narrowed down the bidding list to three entities to run the long-delayed video lottery terminal casino at Aqueduct, and a final decision could come as early as the week of Sept. 28.
Hialeah Park has filed applications for Quarter Horse racing dates, telling the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering it plans to run a 20-day meet late this year and another 20-day meet early in 2010.
Democratic Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland indicated Sept. 21 his administration is preparing to take the "next steps" in the wake of an Ohio Supreme Court ruling that says a statewide referendum is required before the state implements racetrack video lottery terminals.
Lane's End Farm general manager and prominent Republican Bill Farish said the Kentucky horse industry "will continue to hold our elected officials accountable, and we will not stop working until our state government gets out of the way and allows us to have the tools necessary to compete."
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