As hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue from slot machines flows to horse racing, there is growing sentiment that perhaps the racing industry is failing to capitalize on the new wealth by solely pumping money into purses and breed development programs.
An Ohio lawmaker whose district includes River Downs said Nov. 26 he plans to introduce legislation in 2009 for casino-style gaming that would support the horse racing and breeding in the state.
With revenue from slot machines probably a few years away, Thoroughbred racing in Maryland will continue in no-frills mode for the immediate future.
Maryland voters approved legalizing slot machines Tuesday in a constitutional amendment, paving the way for up to 15,000 machines in five locations and ending years of debate between lawmakers who never managed to pass the measure on their own.
Ohio voters Nov. 4 rejected a proposed $600-million casino -- the fourth time plans for expanded gambling in the state have been turned down since 1990.
Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and Indiana Downs have submitted requests for 2009 schedules that could significantly impact surrounding states.
The Governor's Task Force on Racing in Kentucky is close to preparing and releasing a report pinpointing problems and offering recommendations that ultimately will require a lot of money -- something in short supply given an ongoing budget crunch.
After more than a dozen years of wrangling, Illinois race tracks and horse owners soon may see the influx of millions of dollars from riverboat casinos – and Hawthorne Race Course could add a casino to its racing operations, helping drive additional subsidies for all tracks.
The Maryland Jockey Club said it is "aggressively supporting" a campaign to win approval via a Nov. 4 statewide referendum for slot machines at five locations in the state.
The two other pari-mutuels in Miami-Dade County, Florida, have moved ahead of Calder Race Course in announcing plans for casinos that would have Las Vegas-style slot machines.
The nation's financial crisis has stepped up efforts to prod state government in New York to select an operator for the long-stalled video lottery terminal casino at Aqueduct, and launched a renewed effort to bring VLTs to Belmont Park.
This year's International Simulcast Conference opened Sept. 29 with some advice to the horseracing industry: Embrace the "whales" and computer-assisted wagering, and close some tracks to help improve the product at those that remain.
A new stakes worth up to $1 million will be offered next year at Charles Town Races & Slots in West Virginia.
The Supreme Court of Florida Sept. 11 denied a request by the Seminole Tribe of Florida and Gov. Charlie Crist for a re-hearing on its July 3 ruling that blackjack and baccarat are illegal at the tribe's Hollywood, Fla., casino.
Churchill Downs Inc. and the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association announced Sept. 10 that they have reached an agreement on a contract for future slot machine revenue at CDI-owned Calder Race Course.
Rick Moore, general manager at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, is leaving the Indiana track after 14 years, officials announced Aug. 29, opening day of the Thoroughbred meet. His last day will be Sept. 12.
Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino, which opened in the spring of 2004, is scheduled to offer its first turf race Sept. 1.
Hoosier Park Racing & Casino kicks off a 14th season of Thoroughbred racing Aug. 29, and the 63-day meet will be one of change.
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission approved a plan Aug. 14 that calls for significant increases to purses offered through the Thoroughbred Breed Development program at the upcoming Hoosier Park meet.
Total purses earned at Pennsylvania racetracks jumped 162% from 2006 to 2007 because of revenue from on-track slot machines, while the percentage of purses earned from pari-mutuel wagering dropped substantially during the same period, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board's first "benchmark report" on the impact of slots on pari-mutuel wagering.
Texas Thoroughbred Association executive director David Hooper addressed the Greater Houston Horse Council July 21 in an effort to garner support for a new breed coalition, Texas Horse Organizations for Racing, Showing and Eventing, which is known as Texas HORSE.
Despite downward trends in wagering nationwide, Indiana Downs bucked the trend by staying relatively flat during its 54-day Thoroughbred meet that ended July 8.
The outspoken leader of Capital Play, one of the entities vying for the big Aqueduct video lottery casino deal, is stepping down.
The slots era in Indiana is off to a strong start as the casinos at both Hoosier Park and Indiana Downs combined to pull in a little more than $26 million in adjusted gross receipts during the first month of operation.
Penn National Gaming Inc. said July 7 it has secured an exclusive 18-month option to purchase about 36 acres in Cecil County, Md., for the purpose of constructing a slot-machine casino.
Churchill Downs Inc. announced July 7 that it has signed contracts with the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association on 2008 purses and on potential future slot machine revenue at CDI-owned Calder Race Course.
The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association announced July 5 it has reached an agreement with Churchill Downs Inc. on purses and slot machine revenue for Calder Race Course. If the contracts are signed, Calder could export its July 12 "Summit of Speed" program to tracks around the country.
The TRA and KEEP have weighed in on the announced closure of Ellis Park in western Kentucky. They blame lack of a long-term, industry strategy on advance deposit wagering, and inability to compete with other states, respectively.
The Supreme Court of Florida ruled July 3 that Gov. Charlie Crist exceeded his authority last November when he signed a compact that has permitted the Seminole Tribe of Florida to have Class III Las Vegas-style slot machines, blackjack, and baccarat.
The Seminole Tribe of Florida is preparing for the June 22 launch of blackjack and baccarat at its Hollywood, Fla., casino located 10 miles from Gulfstream Park, one of the racetracks that filed suits to stop the Seminole gaming expansion.
Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino has increased overnight purses by more than 5% to bring the nightly average to more than $190,000 effective June 21.
The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association's general counsel said June 10 his organization could sign agreements "in the very near future" on 2008 purses and future slot-machine revenue at Calder Race Course.
The temporary "Indiana Live!" slot-machine casino at Indiana Downs opened to the public June 9, ushering in a richer future for the state's horsemen. But purses won't be going up any time soon.
Illinois' richest riverboat casinos must pay part of their profits to horse owners and racetracks, the state Supreme Court ruled June 5.
The slots era for Indiana horse racing officially began June 2 when Hoosier Park Racing & Casino opened its doors to the public.
A backstretch improvement program has begun at Hollywood Casino at Penn National, which will spend up to $10 million over the next 10 years to build new barns, refurbish old ones, and make other barn-area upgrades.
Though it has no regulatory oversight of equine health and safety, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has adopted a resolution saying it supports the state's efforts to "invest in horse health and welfare."
Iberville Parish, La., voters should be allowed to cast ballots on whether they want a new racetrack with slot machines, the Louisiana House voted May 21.
A Magna Entertainment Corp. executive said the company has no plans to sell either of its Maryland racetracks but indicated the results of a statewide November referendum on slot machines could play a role in any decision.
As horseracing interests lobby for slot machines in Illinois, two former state legislators have floated a $31-billion infrastructure plan that would be paid in part by expanded gambling in the state.
The Maryland racing industry is throwing its support behind a campaign for slot machines, but it remains to be seen whether any racetracks would get the gambling devices should the public approve a statewide ballot measure in November.
Indiana Downs enjoyed a promising start to its 54-day Thoroughbred meet April 25-26, with large crowds and strong wagering. Indiana Downs will offer racing through July 8.
The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has given the new national Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group authority to negotiate terms with advance deposit wagering companies for betting on races at South Florida Thoroughbred racetracks. Also, Florida horsemen want an agreement on slots revenue with Calder before any contracts are signed.
As Calder Race Course prepares to open its 2008 meet April 21, the question of how to divide any future slot-machine revenue is holding up contract talks between the Miami Gardens, Fla., track and the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protection Association.
Lonny Powell, most recently an executive with Youbet.com, is helping a group identify and examine potential racetrack purchases.
The chairman of the Kentucky Equine Education Project said the organization is "disappointed" not only in the failure of legislation calling for a constitutional amendment on casino gambling, but also with the way the measure was handled from the beginning of this year's General Assembly session.
The Ohio horseracing and breeding industry always seems to be at a crossroads. With 2008 almost three months old, negative trends continue and near-term relief isn't in sight.
The Florida Senate approved March 13 two slot-machine bills that would help the state's Thoroughbred racetracks and other pari-mutuel facilities. However, there is considerable opposition to the bills in the Florida House of Representatives, and the influential Seminole Tribe of Florida is expressing concerns about the legislation.
Steroids, new emergency rules for horse racing, and updates on racetrack casino construction at Hoosier Park and Indiana Downs dominated the discussion during the March 11 Indiana Horse Racing Commission meeting.
The financial health of Magna Entertainment Corp. could become part of the debate about legalizing slot machines in Maryland, as supporters and detractors ready for a statewide referendum in November.
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