The costs of problem gambling could outweigh the economic benefits if Ohio's seven racetracks were permitted to install slot machines, according to a draft report by a committee studying the impact of gambling in the state.
Racing and breeding news from the Thoroughbred industry
The Ohio Senate May 30 concurred with House changes and approved a $1.17-billion budget bill that has no provisions for video lottery terminals at the state's seven racetracks. However, supporters of legislation to legalize VLTs are still confident the proposal will pass in the future.
As the Ohio Thoroughbred racing season gets in full swing for 2002, a racetrack operator has renewed his call for changes in the law that governs full-card simulcasting in the state.
Youbet.com, the online horse racing and wagering service, is being sued by a Kentucky racing information company for allegedly failing to pay an estimated $80,000 in royalties.
AmericaTab, an online wagering company owned by two Ohio racetracks -- Beulah Park and River Downs -- has added Northfield Park to its stable. The northern Ohio harness track has been approved as an equity partner in AmericaTab by the Oregon Racing Commission.
Two-year-olds will be in the spotlight Labor Day weekend when River Downs presents its two top events: the $200,000 Miller Genuine Draft Cradle Stakes Sept. 3, and the $100,000 Bassinet Stakes Sept. 1. Along with $75,000 Governor's Buckeye Cup Sept. 2, the races make up the track's Cradle Stakes Weekend Festival.
The Ohio Thoroughbred industry is in the midst of a grass-roots campaign to solicit support for a measure that would allow voters to decide whether video lottery terminals should be allowed at the state's racetracks.
The flurry of recent stakes sponsorships continued Thursday with the announcement that the $100,000 Bassinet Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at River Downs will be supported by Pepsi-Cola for at least three years. Last year's Bassinet was won by Caressing, who eventually was named champion 2-year-old filly of 2000.
A citywide curfew will force bettors who live in the city to leave River Downs early. Cincinnati is dealing with violence and looting brought on by an April 7 shooting that has triggered racial conflict.
The general manager at River Downs in Ohio said more than $7 million in purse revenue generated at the racetrack has gone to other tracks in the state the past 4 1/2 years through a formula that disperses dark-day simulcasting funds.
Bits and Pieces From Around the Industry
Facing a state Supreme Court deadline of June 15 to deal with public school funding problems, Republican members of the Ohio House of Representatives apparently are behind a plan to install video lottery machines at racetracks to raise between $230 million to $930 million in revenue over the next two years.
The Ohio Lottery Commission's need for revenue to fund education has generated serious talk about video lottery terminals at the state's seven commercial racetracks. Legislators have floated the idea, and racing industry officials are attempting to find common ground.
The Ohio-based online wagering service has been approved to operate in Oregon, where other entities such as NTRA Services and US Off-Track have set up betting hubs that return a portion of revenue to the horse and Greyhound industries.
A change in post times to 5:00 p.m. (ET) for Friday through Monday has had a negative effect on River Downs.
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