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.
Representatives of horsemen's groups are working in the West Virginia capital of Charleston to fend off an effort by Gov. Joe Manchin to take $5 million from purse accounts at each of the state's four racetracks to help pay off a $3-billion debt in the state workers' compensation program.
Miami-Dade County (Florida) voters, like their counterparts in Broward County, will decide March 8 whether to permit slot machines at pari-mutuel facilities.
A proposal to finance a new stadium for the Indianapolis Colts by utilizing expanded gaming in downtown Indianapolis appears to be dead.
Slot machines at the new Evangeline Downs in Opelousas, La., pulled in nearly $72 million in gross revenue and generated more than $12 million for purses and breed development in their first year of operation, according to statistics from the Louisiana Gaming Control Board.
Total Thoroughbred purses increased 3.42%--mostly from a limited number of sources--in 2004, while total handle on Thoroughbred races run in the United States declined less than 1%, according to a year-end "Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators" report released Jan. 12.
The Maryland Racing Commission has unanimously approved the sale of Rosecroft Raceway to Georgia K. Angelos, wife of Peter Angelos, majority owner of the Baltimore Orioles and a Thoroughbred owner and breeder.
As Maryland lawmakers prepare for their 2005 legislative session, a new poll released Jan. 10 shows that Marylanders' support for slot machines has reached a new high.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project officially approved plans for a marketing and education blitz for the Bluegrass state this year, and also hired a high-powered lobbying firm to help it achieve its legislative goals.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project has fashioned a short list of legislative initiatives that includes tax breaks and a breed development program but not racetrack gaming--at least not yet.
Michigan Racing Commissioner Robert Geake said he would leave his post when his term expires at the end of December, and that he hopes to make the long-awaited decision on granting a suburban Detroit racetrack license before he goes.
The family of Baltimore Orioles majority owner Peter Angelos signed an agreement Nov. 20 to buy Rosecroft Raceway, a struggling harness track in southern Maryland just outside of Washington, D.C. The deal, if approved by the Maryland Racing Commission, would likely enhance the chances of slot machines being authorized in the state.
A supporter of video lottery terminals at Ohio's seven racetracks said Nov. 8 there is an "excellent chance" the proposal would go before Ohio voters in a November 2005 referendum.
With vote totals changing minute by minute Nov. 4, a constitutional amendment that would allow voters in Broward and Miami-Dade counties in Florida to vote on racetrack slot machines headed into the win column.
Voters in Washington state rejected an initiative that would have allowed the expansion of electronic slot machines--only permitted in tribal casinos--to other locations, including Emerald Downs. But a top track official said it's the best thing that could have happened.
California voters stomped a statewide racetrack/card parlor slot machine initiative Nov. 2, with the complicated measure garnering support of less than 20%.
Horsemen in South Florida remain hopeful voters statewide will approve a ballot measure Nov. 2 that will allow a referendum on racetrack slot machines in Broward and Miami-Dade counties sometime next year.
Not content to just offer a $1-million race, Delta Downs Racetrack & Casino is looking for ways to promote the stakes and its wagering business both on and off track.
A third-quarter increase in purses despite a decrease in pari-mutuel handle is attributed to growth in alternative gaming, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association said.
The Ohio State Racing Commission has opened its own investigation into a state Department of Public Safety report that video gambling machines were operating in a bar on property that includes the Cedar Downs off-track betting parlor in the northwest portion of the state.
The Downs at Pocono, a Standardbred facility that held Thoroughbred meets in the 1970s, could become the first Pennsylvania racetrack owned by an Indian tribe should regulators approve a $280-million deal between Penn National Gaming Inc. and the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority.
With a month left before the Nov. 2 election, proponents of a California initiative that could have authorized slot machines for racetracks and card parlors are folding their hand.
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.
The decision on where an Erie racetrack will be located is being pushed back because of engineering and legal issues.
As one last-gasp effort to legalize slot machines in Maryland this year failed because of political warfare, horsemen and breeders in the state have begun what many said was inevitable as long as slots remained forbidden: the exodus of horses, horsemen, and horse farms.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project, which is yet to devise a legislative agenda, will let its still-evolving board of directors decide whether alternative gaming will be on its wish list, a representative said Sept. 8 during a meeting of the state Interim Joint Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Evangeline Downs reported a gain in total handle but expected decreases in on-track business given the fact live racing and its slot-machine operation weren't located at the same site during its 2004 meet that ended Sept. 6.
Purses for July at Philadelphia Park averaged just under $120,000 a day, but in a year, they will be almost twice that amount, with much more growth expected when revenue from slot machines begins pouring in.
A proposed tribal mega-casino less than seven miles from Golden Gate Fields spurred a massive lobbying effort from California's $4.5-billion horse racing industry the week of Aug. 23.
The Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission has finalized at five the number of applicants seeking the final Thoroughbred racing license in the state. Only four applicants hit an informal Aug. 16 deadline to apply for the last license, but Magna Entertainment Corp. has reiterated its interest in building a track near Pittsburgh International Airport.
Planners of a Thoroughbred racetrack near Erie are weighing two location options pending a Sept. 15 license amendment decision from the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission.
The Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission will meet Aug. 24 to map out a timeline for approval of the state's final Thoroughbred racetrack license. But whoever gets the license isn't guaranteed a slot machine license, which has narrowed the field of applicants.
Delta Downs Racetrack & Casino reigned as Louisiana's top moneymaking racino in the first six months of 2004, according to figures from the Louisiana Gaming Control Board. Overall, the state's three racinos generated more than $19.8 million for purses in the first six months of this year.
The Fair Grounds and Louisiana horsemen reached a $25 million settlement over video poker purse revenue Aug. 7.
An attorney for the Fair Grounds said Louisiana horsemen were on the verge of a settlement Friday night that could spare the New Orleans track from an auction in bankruptcy court later this month over a $90 million video poker judgement.
Officially there is still life in legislation to introduce video lottery terminals to Michigan racetracks. But following an Aug. 4 vote in the state legislature, the breathing is shallow and the pulse is weak.
The Illinois legislature adjourned its "overtime" spring session without acting on a package of gaming reforms that could have brought slot machines to racetracks.
Hastings Park will be permitted to install 600 slot machines in the wake of a 6-5 vote by the Vancouver City Council July 22. Mayor Larry Campbell, who provided the deciding vote, said it was about saving jobs in the community.
Prairie Meadows' board of directors has unanimously passed a resolution that would change the makeup of its board in exchange for business support to oppose a Des Moines riverboat casino.
Prairie Meadows received permission July 15 to add table games, but now it must roll the dice on an even bigger issue.
It was a bad week for California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who found himself stumping for voter support for his overdue 2004-05 budget plan at Mary's Pizza Shack in rural Dixon, along Interstate 80 west of Sacramento.
Hope that passage of slot machine legislation in Pennsylvania would result in a new Thoroughbred racetrack near Pittsburgh seems futile. Negotiators with knowledge of the bill signed into law July 5 by Gov. Ed Rendell said a stand-alone slots parlor in downtown Pittsburgh is much more likely.
Not only will Saratoga Gaming and Raceway not close down its video lottery terminal parlor in August to accommodate the New York Racing Association, but there is talk of the NYRA neighbor adding another 700 VLTs, a state official said.
A New York appeals court July 7 said the revenue-sharing agreement for racetrack video lottery gambling is unconstitutional, a decision that raises new questions about a program that has stalled at the state's biggest tracks.
With Pennsylvania about to become a major gambling state given the approval of slot machines at racetracks and other locations, Maryland lawmakers are discussing a possible special session to revisit gaming legislation.
Legislation to authorize slot machines at Pennsylvania racetracks and other locations passed the state House of Representatives early the morning of July 4 and now heads to Gov. Ed Rendell for his signature.
Hit by relatively high revenue-sharing demands from the state and plans for even more gambling competition, New York's racetrack video gaming machine program has a murky future, Wall Street analysts and industry officials said.
A couple of years ago, there were suggestions a soon-to-be-built gaming parlor at Saratoga Raceway would close during the day in August when the Thoroughbreds came to down.
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