It has been almost two years since Smarty Jones won the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and slot machines were legalized in Pennsylvania. And while the horse has begun his career at stud, racetracks are still waiting for slots and may encounter some challenges when they finally get them.
Legislation that would funnel more than $50 million a year to the Illinois racing industry cleared a House committee March 1, but it failed to win enough support after a third reading March 3.
Legislation to authorize a constitutional amendment on casino gambling at Kentucky racetracks was introduced Feb. 16 by legislators in the House of Representatives and Senate.
Representatives of operations that have or will have gaming at racetracks left little doubt which half of the equation drives the financial engine, and they indicated marketing horse racing as an entertainment option rather than a gambling enterprise may be the way to go.
West Virginia lawmakers are considering two bills--one that would prohibit account wagering, and another that would authorize county referendums on the addition of casino-style games at Thoroughbred and Greyhound racetracks.
Bob Farinella resigned Jan. 18 after nearly 12 years as president and general manager of Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino in Altoona, Iowa.
New York would add three additional casinos featuring video lottery terminals, which would be permitted to locate near the New York Racing Association's future Aqueduct racino, Gov. George Pataki proposed Jan. 17.
Magna Entertainment Corp. has received local approval to develop a commercial district at Laurel Park in Maryland.
Following the refusal of jockeys to ride the remainder of the live card after two races had been completed Jan. 7, Penn National Race Course in Grantville, Pa., announced Jan. 9 it would cancel live racing and training for this week while attempts are made to fix "inconsistent" portions of the racing surface.
With reconstruction work continuing at Delta Downs Racetrack & Casino in the aftermath of Hurricane Rita, the track's Thoroughbred meet will remain at Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino.
Patrons at Philadelphia Park will find themselves in an unfamiliar world--at least temporarily--by the fall of 2006.
Maine Gov. John Baldacci, as promised last June, vetoed a Washington County racino bill Friday.
More than nine in 10 Kentucky voters (92 %) believe they should be given an opportunity to vote on a constitutional amendment allowing for casino gaming even if they are opposed to expanded gambling, according to the finding of a recent survey of 801 Kentucky voters conducted on behalf of KEEP˜the Kentucky Equine Education Project.
Just days after the Illinois Gaming Board revoked the license of Emerald Casino, one-time rival communities once again are preparing to join a prolonged battle for the lucrative riverboat license.
Total handle and purses registered gains during the 167-day Woodbine meet that spanned April 16-Dec. 11.
A dream came true Nov. 21 for Remington Park officials and Oklahoma horsemen. Shortly before 1 p.m., the track opened the doors of its new $35-million slot-machine casino.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project began lobbying in earnest for its racetrack casino plan with a letter to more than 3,200 community officials outlining how the state's share--a projected $437.5 million a year--from gaming would be spent under proposed legislation.
In a photo finish Tuesday, voters narrowly approved Oaklawn Park's request to bring additional electronic games of skill to the Hot Springs, Ark., track.
On the same day it reported a third-quarter loss of $34.5 million, Magna Entertainment Corp. announced it entered into a deal to sell its Pennsylvania operation--The Meadows harness track and a ring of off-track betting parlors in the western part of the state--to Millennium Gaming and Oaktree Capital Management for $225 million.
A proposal by Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan to ban riverboat gambling in Illinois has been dry-docked in the state Senate.
The Massachusetts horse racing industry is taking a day off Sept. 28 to show its support during a hearing in the state House of Representatives on legislation that could impact the industry.
Zia Park will kick off its inaugural 44-day season Friday with an 11-race card of Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred racing, with the opening day program highlighted by the $50,000 Premier Stakes for Thoroughbreds at six furlongs.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project announced its support Sept. 16 for a referendum to amend the state constitution to allow for casino gambling at licensed racetracks. But details of the plan won't be in the form of legislation until Jan. 1, 2006, and officials admitted the final document will be subject to revision.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project will unveil what it calls a "bold legislative initiative aimed at increasing the state's revenue for critical services without a broad-based tax increase" Sept. 16 on the steps of the State Capitol in Frankfort.
With a fall awareness campaign and the 2006 General Assembly session looming, the board of directors of the Kentucky Equine Education Project voted Sept. 7 on its ultimate position on expanded gambling in the state.
An Aug. 26 presentation on the status of the Kentucky lottery and a scholarship fund that derives money from it led to a call for more funding, even if it means legislators would have to approve expanded gambling to generate the revenue.
The Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission officially gave the go-ahead for gaming Aug. 11 at two of the racetracks in the state, Remington Park in Oklahoma City and Blue Ribbon Downs in Sallisaw.
Magna Entertainment Corp. expects to have partners lined up for some of its pending racetrack gaming operations before the end of this year, and hopes to have a presence in Nevada, where account wagering could be offered in the future.
The latest condition book at Mountaineer Race Track and Gaming Resort reflects a 20% reduction in purses primarily brought about by the shift of some video lottery terminal revenue to the state to fix its workers' compensation system.
Magna Entertainment Corp. has agreed to sell Flamboro Downs, a Standardbred racino in Ontario, Canada, to Great Canadian Gaming Corp., a casino company that continues to add racetracks to its portfolio.
Regulation of slot machines in Broward County, Fla. may be headed to the appellate court following a lower court ruling favorable to pari-mutuel operators.
Should the Kentucky horse racing industry push for casino gambling during the 2006 General Assembly session, it apparently won't have the support of Democratic Rep. Larry Clark.
Oklahoma may be less than two weeks away from having its first racetrack casino operation licensed, and a June 16 meeting should chart the course of on-track electronic gaming in the state.
The regular session of the Texas legislature concluded without tossing so much as a crumb toward horse racing, but the state's racing industry remains hopeful lawmakers could soon consider video lottery terminals for racetracks.
Speculation that a revenue sharing agreement could result in California between racetracks and tribal casinos over slot machines increased this week after a lawsuit on behalf of five tracks filed last year against Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was dropped May 25.
A last-ditch attempt to get video lottery terminals included in legislation that would reorganize the Texas Lottery Commission was unsuccessful May 26. With the Texas legislative session coming to an end, the VLT plan will have to wait for a special session or the 2007 legislative session.
The failure of the Florida legislature to create regulations for slot machines at pari-mutuel facilities in Broward County may force the issue into court.
The projected cost of building the long-planned video lottery terminal casino at Aqueduct has soared nearly 20% since it was first proposed several years ago, New York Racing Association officials said.
The Maryland Racing Commission, which seldom delves openly into politics, has expressed its disappointment with the state legislature for failing to help the racing industry in the recently concluded legislative session.
Reconstruction of the pari-mutuel industry's tote infrastructure is ready to begin, but the project may not be completed for two to three years, Churchill Downs Inc. president Tom Meeker said.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project, formed about a year ago and already with a legislative feather in its cap, seems poised to push for alternative gaming in 2006 but its board of directors must be united in the course of action, the organization's chairman said.
New York's highest court upheld as legal the spread of video lottery terminals to racetracks in a ruling issued May 3, a major victory for the state's racing industry.
The Florida House voted May 2 to limit Broward County pari-mutuel facilities to bingo-based gambling machines rather than traditional slot machines and to take 55% of the revenue in taxes. The Senate, meanwhile, wants regular slot machines and a much lower tax rate.
Magna Entertainment Corp., which registered a $25-million decline in net income in the last year, expects to post a net loss for 2005 but is banking on profitability--and operation of slot machines in three states--by the end of 2007.
Delaware Park, which was the early proving ground last season for four probable contenders in the May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I)--Afleet Alex, Bellamy Road, Closing Argument, and High Limit--will offer its first $1-million race during a 135-day meet that kicked off April 30.
Penn National Gaming Inc. reported an increase in net revenue for the first quarter of 2005 compared with the comparable period in 2004, but also showed a $2-million loss in net income.
Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher reiterated his view of horse racing and breeding in the state April 21 and acknowledged the challenges, including in-state and out-of-state competition from other forms of gambling.
Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino, which just opened April 7 for the first Thoroughbred meet at its new location in Opelousas, La., has raised purses 10% across the board effective April 29.
Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack will kick off its 161-day meet April 15 with a stakes schedule and overnight purses comparable with those of last year.
The New Orleans Planning Commission has postponed for a month a decision on a proposal by Churchill Downs Inc. to install up to 700 slot machines at Fair Grounds.