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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
The Louisiana horse racing industry continued its forward movement the evening of April 7 when the 7-year-old gelding Attakapa, appropriately bred in Louisiana, won the first Thoroughbred race at the new Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino.
The New York legislature has given final approval to a measure to increase the share of video lottery terminal revenue for racetracks, as well as jump-start the long-stalled VLT casinos at Aqueduct and Yonkers Raceway.
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, after long opposition, has opened the door to the expansion of gaming. But his education-funding proposal doesn't specifically include the new casinos and support for racetracks that would make it politically viable in the state House and Senate.
Plans for a racino at Canterbury Park continued to progress through the Minnesota legislature when the House Committee on Regulated Industries approved a bill March 29 and sent it to the House Committee on Taxes.
The Republican-led Senate and Democratic-run Assembly in New York have introduced legislation to sweeten the pot for racetracks with video lottery terminals, though the measure restricts the amount of extra money that would go to Aqueduct and Yonkers Raceway compared to other tracks.
With handle in January down about 9% from the same period in 2004, Philadelphia Park said its year-to-date purse overpayment has reached $1.9 million because of a commitment to boost purses while it waits to install slot machines. Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association finished 2004 in the black, but not without some adjustments.
Lawmakers in New York have agreed to repair a state law that has kept Aqueduct and Yonkers Raceway from opening their video lottery terminal casinos in a deal that will bring the state up to $1 billion in revenue each year.
Gambling interests have agreed to poll Ohio voters on the issues of casinos and video lottery terminals at racetracks in the state. The decision came during a March 24 meeting loosely dubbed the Ohio Gaming Summit.
Legislation endorsed by the West Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee would allow casino-style table games at the four racetracks in the state, but the panel also doubled the state tax on the games from 12% to 24%.
Seeking to prod along negotiations, the New York Senate approved two bills March 17 designed to open long-stalled video lottery terminal casinos at Aqueduct and Yonkers Raceway, believed to be New York's most lucrative racetracks for gaming.
Churchill Downs Inc. officials discussed the company's financial picture, alternative gaming initiatives, and the industry's tote system during a March 17 teleconference but shed little light on their intentions for Hollywood Park, the Southern California racetrack that is the subject of sale rumors.
Delta Downs Racetrack & Casino recently unveiled its 10-story hotel as part of the finishing touches of a $60-million expansion project. Another project at the Vinton, La., racetrack--conversion of the racing surface to one mile and addition of a turf course--remains on the drawing board but faces some challenges.
Calder Race Course and Gulfstream Park are just eight miles away, both straddling the Miami-Dade/Broward County line in South Florida. But following the results of the March 8 municipal elections, the tracks may soon be entirely different.
The Pojoaque Pueblo tribe has filed an application with the New Mexico Racing Commission to reopen The Downs at Santa Fe, which would become the sixth racetrack in the state. The tribe wants to begin live racing in 2007 and also hopes to install slot machines.
The Maryland House of Delegates has rejected a series of amendments offered by gambling opponents, setting the stage for a final vote Feb. 25 on a bill to legalize 9,500 slot machines at four locations in the state.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project's position on racetrack gaming will hinge on whether its board of directors believes such a pursuit is in the best interest of Kentucky residents, a KEEP official said Feb. 5 during a meeting with members of the media at Turfway Park.
The Maryland racing industry has signed off on a plan to revitalize the sport should legislators approve alternative gaming. Though efforts to win approval for racetrack slot machines have stalled in recent years, a key legislator said the plan represents progress.
Gaming at Oklahoma racetracks is closer to reality, Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission officials said Jan. 27 during their monthly meeting. Rules that would govern alternative gaming will be formulated in a month, they said.
Two proposals calling for pull-tab machines at Hoosier Park and Indiana Downs received their first hearing Jan. 26, but after three hours of debate in the House Public Policy and Veterans Affairs Committee, one thing was clear: Legislation to authorize the machines could meet an early fate.