Some $35 million a year in subsidies promised to the Illinois racing industry in recently passed legislation appears headed for court rather than the tracks. The situation threatens to become a replay of events that derailed an even bigger subsidy approved seven years ago.
With time running out in the spring session, legislation that would divert more than $50 million a year from Illinois riverboat casinos to the horse racing industry has stalled in the state House of Representatives.
by Steve Moody - While the gap between Indiana racing and Kentucky racing is still distinct when you're talking about Keeneland and Churchill Downs, the gap has narrowed significantly with respect to Turfway and Ellis Park.
Don't count on video poker was the sobering message Kentucky Senate President David Williams delivered Tuesday to an informal gathering of about 35 prominent Thoroughbred breeders and their representatives.
Prairie Meadows is reviving a $25 million expansion plan on the heels of a state Supreme Court decision that drastically reduced the racetrack's gambling taxes, according to the Des Moines Register.
The Polk County, Iowa, board of supervisors voted unanimously in favor of a five-year, $100 million rental agreement with the operators of Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino.
MGM Mirage could take over efforts to build a riverboat casino in Rosemont, Ill., near O'Hare International Airport that would pump tens of millions of dollars into the horse racing industry.
Churchill Downs stepped up its political contributions to Kentucky legislators in recent months, sending checks totaling nearly $50,000 to lawmakers in the three months leading up to the 2002 General Assembly, according to a published report in the Louisville Courier-Journal.
- By Tom LaMarra
Simulcast handle at most Kentucky racetracks has fallen or remained static in each of the past several years. An exception has been Keeneland, which experienced nine consecutive years of growth through 2000, when the amount wagered on simulcasts topped a record $104 million.
Efforts by Indiana riverboat casino interests to get approval of dockside gambling fell short when the Senate Rules Committee voted 5-3 against the legislation. According to published reports, one factor in the bill's failure was an amendment that deleted authorization for pull-tab gaming at Churchill Downs-managed Hoosier Park and off-track betting sites in the state. The amendment also did away with a proposed OTB site in the resort area of French Lick.
They fired up the boiler and tooted the whistle but the riverboat casino that's supposed to pour millions of dollars into Illinois racing still hasn't been able to get up a head of steam. And, after the latest setback before the Illinois Gaming Board, it appears it could be many months -- or even years -- before the boat floats.
The Illinois Gaming Board Tuesday voted against granting a license for Emerald Casino's plan to build a more than $100 million gambling barge in Rosemont, Ill. An appeal is expected.
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