New York state comptroller Alan Hevesi, who believes the New York Racing Association is unwilling to reform operations, has called for the creation of an independent inspector general to monitor NYRA.
The Illinois Racing Board has approved a compromise 2004 Chicago-area Thoroughbred season that has Arlington Park giving up a week of live racing in return for "host track" revenue from early-season simulcasting. But serious questions remain about purse levels for 2004 because the state legislature during its spring session backed away from approving slot machines at racetracks.
As the New York Racing Association sits on the video lottery terminal sidelines, others in New York are racing ahead with efforts to get the devices up and running, possibly by the end of the year.
Slot machines at Fair Grounds would generate $2 million to $3 million a year to supplement purses, according to figures released by state officials in Louisiana.
With a push for a constitutional amendment on expanded gambling looming in 2004, former Kentucky governor Brereton Jones said he would help fashion legislation to authorize full-scale casino gambling at racetracks.
Slot machines at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, La., appear to have impacted five riverboat casinos in the Shreveport/Bossier City market, according to July revenue reports filed with the Louisiana Gaming Control Board.
Bill Casner, co-owner of WinStar Farm near Versailles, Ky., called for support of video lottery terminals in Kentucky and the Thoroughbred Championship Tour while accepting the 2003 Industry Service Award at the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders' Association's National Awards Dinner.
Ground was broken Aug. 13 on the "Miracle Isle" gaming facility at Vernon Downs, which intends to become the first New York racetrack to have video lottery terminals in operation.
Kentucky Derby-winning trainer John Ward has called some of the recent attacks on the embattled New York Racing Association "essentially a political assassination campaign" linked to development of video lottery terminals at racetracks in the state.
Slot machine exclusivity at New York racetracks may be short-lived, two legislators from the Empire State said on Tuesday during an afternoon session of the Saratoga Institute on Racing and Wagering Law.
The Vancouver city council has lifted its ban on slots, which means, if things progress as expected, Hastings Park racetrack could install as many as 900 slot machines by this time next year.
California Indians will fight any effort to expand gaming at state racetracks, said the executive director of the association that oversees tribal casinos.
Boyd Gaming announced plans July 30 for a $50-million expansion at Delta Downs in Vinton, La. In a conference call on Boyd's second-quarter earnings, the company said Delta Downs, which has slot machines, has become of its "best performers."
The Republican-controlled Pennsylvania Senate returned to a brief session July 28 but didn't consider racetrack slots legislation. It previously had buried a bill passed by the House, and it had predicted it would be after Labor Day before it considers the topic again.
Thoroughbred Owners of California president John Van de Kamp admitted California could lose its position as a major racing state in the future without additional revenue streams, including expanding gaming at California's racetracks.
Representatives from Hastings Park will find out July 24 if slot machines will be allowed in the city of Vancouver.
The Equine Health Studies Program (EHSP) at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) will receive funds from tax revenue generated from slot machines placed in racetracks throughout the state, part of a bill recently passed in the Louisiana Legislature.
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has proposed that racetrack slot machines produce $1 billion in revenue, way up from the $400 million projected for this fiscal year in legislation approved by the state Senate.
The Pennsylvania Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has submitted an application for a license for a Thoroughbred racetrack that would be built in the Lehigh Valley. If approved, daily purses would eventually average $1 million a day under a plan whereby all profits from slot machines would go back to horsemen.
The Pennsylvania Senate, on a 27-22 vote the evening of June 25, approved legislation to authorize racetrack slot machines. Now, the measure goes to the House of Representatives.
The issue of video lottery terminals at Ohio's racetracks died in the state Senate June 25.
The Pennsylvania Senate could vote today, June 25, on legislation to allow slot machines at racetracks. The plan needs 26 votes to pass, and if it does, it will be sent to the House of Representatives.
The issue of video lottery terminals at Ohio racetracks still has a chance for passage in the state Senate, though it may be a longshot.
Alternative gaming at Kentucky racetracks must be tied to a constitutional amendment, and the public must have a say in how the state's share of the revenue is spent, the former governor of Kentucky said June 22 during a panel discussion at the Thoroughbred International Exposition & Conference in Lexington.
The racino at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, La., took in more than $2.6 million in revenue in its first 11 days of operation, according to figures released by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board. The 905 slot machines went online May 21.
Legislation that would place the issue of racetrack video lottery terminals on the Ohio ballot has been changed again as Democrats and Republicans square off over the state budget.
The Ohio Senate on June 11 delayed consideration of a resolution to put a racetrack video lottery terminal issue on the November ballot. The delay was caused by disagreements among Senate Democrats over how VLT revenue, estimated to be $500 million and $700 million a year, would be distributed.
The Ohio Senate is expected to vote by June 13 on a resolution to put the issue of video lottery terminals at racetracks on the November ballot. Meanwhile, opposition to the proposal picked up with ads on cable television in selected areas of the state.
Nation's highest court overturns a previous ruling by the Iowa Supreme Court that declared the state's graduated tax rate on racetrack slot machines was unconstitutional.
Legislation that would place the issue of racetrack video lottery terminals on the November ballot was introduced in the Ohio Senate June 3. Opponents are already predicting defeat.
A plan is in the works to allow the state of Maryland, not racetrack owners, own slot-machine operations and hire members of the private sector to operate them.
A bill that would expand gambling beyond the realm of slots at racetracks is expected to be introduced in Pennsylvania this week, a Philadelphia television station reported Tuesday.
With the Pennsylvania legislature set to return June 2, it will be pressured to act on one of two measures that would place slot machines at racetracks. Gov. Ed Rendell wants a bill passed before summer recess commences June 30.
A dispute over video lottery terminal revenue splits has been resolved by the New York Racing Association and the group that represents horsemen at NYRA-operated racetracks.
The future of Remington Park and perhaps the future of the entire Thoroughbred industry in Oklahoma could depend on a vote by House of Representatives to legalize electronic gaming at the state's racetracks.
A resolution to place the issue of racetrack video lottery terminals on the November ballot will be introduced in the Ohio Senate, probably the week of June 3, Sen. Louis Blessing said. The Senate recently removed a proposal for VLTs from the proposed state budget.
As the Texas legislature prepares to end its biennial regular session June 2, it appears approval for video lottery terminals at racetracks would have to wait.
Pinnacle Entertainment officials alleges legislation to provide more aisle space for the gaming parlor at the Delta Downs in Vinton, La., is actually an effort to expand the casino at the racetrack owned and operated by Boyd Gaming.
Legislation to allow electronic gaming at Michigan racetracks was approved by the state House of Representatives May 22, just two days after the release of a poll that indicated the public overwhelmingly disapproves of the prospect.
With business lagging behind by about 7% compared with last year, officials at Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie are contemplating a purse cut as the racetrack nears the midway point of its 70-date racing season.
The Ohio Senate is considering legislation to place on the November ballot a constitutional amendment to legalize video lottery terminals at Ohio racetracks.
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, in a major reversal of form, has announced he will veto any expansion of gaming in Illinois, including a plan to put slot machines at racetracks.
Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, La., will turn on its slot machines May 21 well in advance of its live Thoroughbred meet that begins June 27.
The head of the horsemen's group at New York Racing Association tracks said he is in no rush to share additional video lottery terminal revenue with NYRA.
The gubernatorial veto of a new video lottery terminal plan in New York was overridden May 15 by the state legislature, seemingly putting an end to months of uncertainty over the legislation.
New York City off-track betting parlors would be permitted to install up to 4,500 video lottery terminals under a proposal made May 13 by Gov. George Pataki.
The Texas Horsemen's Partnership has asked its 5,000 members to send e-mail or letters to Gov. Rick Perry and state legislators asking them to support a bill that would legalize video lottery terminals at the 10 licensed horse and dog tracks in the state.
A pivotal week for slot-machine legislation in Pennsylvania is ahead as the Senate is expected to debate a plan to legalize the devices at the state's racetracks, possibly May 12-13. Supporters of slots are planning to "leapfrog" a potentially hostile committee vote by putting the legislation on the floor as an amendment to another bill, according to the Associated Press.
A key Illinois lawmaker has unveiled comprehensive gaming legislation that would authorize 3,200 slot machines for Illinois racetracks.
The Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association has put its support behind legislation that would give horsemen 25% of gross revenue from racetrack slot machines. Meanwhile, a prominent Standardbred breeder told members of a Senate Finance Committee May 6 breeders won't receive enough revenue under splits contained in two slots bills that have been introduced.
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