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.
Monticello Raceway--now called Mighty M Gaming at Monticello Raceway--will become the fourth New York racetrack to operate video gaming machines when it turns on the devices the morning of June 30.
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says he will "get rid of" a racing-sponsored initiative that could bring slot machines to tracks, but backers of the measure vowed to press their case with the voters.
Plagued by bad weather and short fields during the first month of its season, Arlington Park lost ground to racetracks in other states where purses are sweetened by slot machine revenue, Arlington president Cliff Goodrich told the Illinois Racing Board June 10.
Legislation to authorize gaming through the El Comandante Racetrack and Off-Track Betting Agency system in Puerto Rico has been approved by the government, said Equus Gaming Co., a partnership with Thoroughbred and entertainment interests in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The New York state Senate June 3 gave quick approval to a plan to overhaul the regulation of racing in the state, including a provision designed to get video lottery terminals installed this year at Aqueduct.
A California initiative that could result in five racetracks getting slot machines has qualified for the Nov. 2 general election ballot.
The Illinois Legislature missed its midnight May 31 adjournment deadline in a stalemate over the state's budget. The deadlock likely dooms efforts to expand gaming in the state, including slot machines or other revenue-producing plans for Illinois racetracks.
The Ohio House of Representatives, by a slim margin, has defeated a proposal to allow video lottery terminals at the state's seven racetracks.
Supporters of legislation to allow video lottery terminals at Ohio's seven racetracks hope to win approval to put the proposal on the November ballot before the legislative session ends for the summer.
Live racing at Charles Town Races & Slots will be suspended for about three weeks in August so workers can replace the racing surface, bank the turns, and install new lighting.
According to the results of a recent public opinion poll, most Texans would welcome video lottery terminals at the state's five horse and three Greyhound racetracks.
Fairmount Park in downstate Illinois marches on in hope of getting alternative gaming, while on the racing side, Shamrock Meadows Stables continues its roll.
Gov. Brad Henry signed a bill Wednesday to authorize a statewide vote Nov. 2 on whether to allow pari-mutuel horse racing tracks to operate electronic gambling machines now played only at Indian casinos.
Pennsylvania legislators reportedly have struck a tentative deal on slot machines in the state, but the proposal still has a long way to go.
As the most recent special session of the 78th Texas legislature came to a close, the fate of video lottery terminals appeared to be rather uncertain.
Maryland racing officials and politicians really didn't make any excuses during the May 13 Alibi Breakfast at Pimlico Race Course. Instead, they called on the racing industry to do everything it can to facilitate a turn of fortunes for horse racing in the state.
The chairman of the New York Racing Association is blasting state officials for throwing up what he says is another roadblock to opening a racino at Aqueduct racetrack.
Legislation to legalize video lottery terminals at Michigan racetracks took a tenuous, toddling step forward April 29 when the state Senate narrowly approved a racino bill after nearly a year of inaction. But much work remains.
Maryland officials who oppose expanded gambling met with lawmakers and activists in Pennsylvania April 28 in the hope of combating any push for racetrack slot machines or casinos.
Harrah's Louisiana Downs opened its new slot-machine casino April 30, with a grand opening tied to the start of live Thoroughbred racing May 14.
Ohio Gov. Bob Taft has again stated his opposition to installation of video lottery terminals at the state's seven racetracks. Meanwhile, a key legislator has suggested non-track casinos be located in urban areas.
Prairie Meadows could add table games and video poker this fall if Gov. Tom Vilsack signs a gambling bill approved by the Iowa legislature. The track's board of directors voted 12-0 April 21 to seek the games should the bill become law.
A proposal to allow Ohioans to vote on the issue of video lottery terminals at the state's seven racetracks will be introduced again in the legislature.
Backers of a California initiative that could bring slot machines to several racetracks and card clubs submitted more than a million signatures Friday to county election officials around the state to qualify the measure for voter consideration Nov. 2.
The addition of video lottery terminals at Texas dog and horse tracks will be one of the items discussed when the Texas state legislature convenes for a special session beginning on April 20. The special session can last as long as 30 days and the governor can call as many sessions as he wants.
Texas racing officials received a boost to their spirits after Gov. Rick Perry announced he would support the installation of video lottery terminals at racetracks in the state.
At its recent meet that ended March 27, Delta Downs reported a 32% increase in handle over last year's results, with a total handle of more than $115 million.
New Jersey's casinos are near a deal that would boost purses at the state's three racetracks in exchange for the tracks delaying their plans to install video lottery terminals.
As the Maryland General Assembly lurched into the final week of its 2004 law-making session, the future of slot machines in the state remained in the unpredictable grip of politics and, seemingly, outside the control of anyone in the horse industry.
The Kentucky racing industry's next chance to win approval for a constitutional amendment on racetrack casinos will come in 2006, the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association said in a letter to members.
Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich made a personal appeal to members of a House committee Tuesday for approval of his slot machine bill. Before the meeting Ehrlich attended a pro-slots rally at the Capitol conducted by members of the state's horse industry.
The final season of racing at 38-year-old Evangeline Downs kicks off the evening of April 1 with a 100% increase in daily average purses and a regular fan appreciation nights.
A member of the state Senate committee considering legislation that would allow video lottery terminals at Michigan racetracks predicted the week of March 22 that the bill would be voted out of committee and passed by the Senate this spring.
Vernon Downs, an upstate New York Standardbred track, was licensed March 22 by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board on the condition a third party oversees racing operations.
The slot-machine parlor at the Delta Downs Racetrack & Casino reigns as the most profitable racino in Louisiana, having generated more than $33 million in purse money the past two years, according to the Louisiana Gaming Control Board. In all, three racinos have produced more than $40 million for horsemen.
An informational meeting on a racing-backed slots initiative that could add as much as $300 million a year to purses in California drew only a handful of horsemen at Santa Anita Friday morning.
The Maryland Jockey Club March 12 will begin broadcasting television advertisements designed to promote horse racing and the importance of racing and breeding to the Maryland economy.
Average purses will double at Evangeline Downs this season if the first condition book for the meet is any indication.
Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry signed a bill Monday that allows electronic gaming machines at three racetracks in the state. A bill-signing ceremony was scheduled for Tuesday.
Disagreement between the horse racing industry and a legislator has put casino legislation in Kentucky in a tenuous position for the current session.
A $50-million expansion of the Delta Downs Racetrack & Casino is well under way with completion expected by the end of 2004. The project includes a hotel and a bigger parlor for slot machines.
Instant Racing, which combines pari-mutuel wagering with video gaming technology, had its best month ever at Oaklawn Park when patrons poured $5.82 million through the machines in February.
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