There's a lot of love going around at Delta Downs. Beginning on Feb. 14, Valentine's Day, the track will increase purses an average of 40%, with open races feeling the uptick the most.
Gov. George Pataki has rocked the New York racing industry with a plan to dramatically alter the revenue-sharing arrangement for the state's long-stalled video lottery program and also impose a higher tax on pari-mutuel handle.
Gov. Robert Ehrlich of Maryland introduced a bill Thursday that would allow for 10,500 slot machines to be installed at racetracks in the state. Track operators would receive about 25% of slot revenue -- which is projected to be $1.6 billion by 2006 -- and horsemen would receive 8%.
Impending legislation to install video lottery terminals (VLTs) at pari-mutuel facilities in Texas drew a packed house at the Texas Thoroughbred Association's annual conference on Jan. 18. The conference, which culminated in their annual awards dinner, took place at the Hilton Austin Airport hotel in Austin.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- Organizations for breeders and owners have to be engaged in the efforts to bring slots to racetracks.
Churchill Downs Inc. president Tom Meeker will speak to state legislators on regulatory issues facing the pari-mutuel industry during the National Council on Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS) winter meeting January 11 in South Beach, Florida.
Revitalization of Pimlico Race Course could begin immediately and be completed within 24 months if slots legislation is passed in Maryland, Magna Entertainment Corp. president Jim McAlpine told members of the Maryland General Assembly on Monday.
The Dec. 21 Delta Jackpot isn't a graded race, but its $500,000 purse makes it among the richest race for 2-year-olds in North America.
Emerald Downs' biggest competitor will soon own the track's 157-acre property. The Muckleshoot Indian Tribe has agreed to purchase the land where the 6-year-old racetrack sits.
Opposition to legislation recently introduced in the Ohio Senate that would allow video slot machines at the state's seven racetracks is continuing to mount.
MTR Gaming Group, the owner of Mountaineer Race Track and Gaming Resort, hits some new financial records for the third quarter but still reported a decline in earnings per share.
The decisive victory by Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. in the race for Maryland governor brought immediate smiles to the face of Maryland horsemen.
While no specific election in New Jersey on Tuesday figures to have any direct impact on pending slots legislation, New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association lobbyist Barbara DeMarco-Reiche said elections in neighboring states are sure to have "a tremendous impact" on New Jersey racing.
In Arizona, a proposition to allow slot machines at racetracks was soundly defeated by a 4-1 margin.
Prairie Meadows will be able to continue operating slot machines for another eight years after 66 percent of Polk County voters supported the measure Tuesday.
Ed Rendell, who won a landslide victory in the Pennsylvania governor's race on Tuesday, has said that his top priority when he takes office is to lower property taxes in the state, which he intends to do by allowing slot machines at the five racetracks in the state.
The Ohio Senate Ways and Means Committee will begin hearings next week on legalizing video slot machines at Ohio racetracks.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- Just as the automobile replaced the horse and buggy a century ago, the manufacture of automobiles has supplanted in importance the breeding and racing of Thoroughbreds in Kentucky, based on the recent actions of Gov. Paul Patton and state legislators.
MTR Gaming is as interested in acquiring an Ohio racetrack as it is in building a new track in Erie, Pa., according to the company's president.
Penn National Gaming has received permission Thursday from the West Virginia Lottery Commission to expand its slot machines at Charles Town Races by 1,500.
Legislation that would legalize video lottery terminals at Kentucky's eight racetracks was introduced Tuesday in the state House of Representatives by Rep. Jim Callahan (D-Wilder), whose district includes Turfway Park.
Woodbine Entertainment will soon have its slot machine casinos open around the clock on Fridays and Saturdays beginning April 1. The Toronto area racetrack also will extend its hours of operation during the rest of the week by two hours a day.
Racing could cease at New Hampshire's Rockingham Park this year because a bill that would have allowed video lottery terminals at the Salem facility is dead.
Churchill Downs stepped up its political contributions to Kentucky legislators in recent months, sending checks totaling nearly $50,000 to lawmakers in the three months leading up to the 2002 General Assembly, according to a published report in the Louisville Courier-Journal.
Woodbine Race Course reported a 14% increase in average daily handle driven by a substantial increase in purses and field size.
Churchill Downs executives say they are not advocating slot machines at Kentucky racetracks, but at a meeting Monday track president Alex Waldrop made a strong pitch for alternative gaming. Waldrop said alternative gaming was the best long-term solution to keep the racing industry in Kentucky growing, according to Louisville Courier-Journal.
Presque Isle Downs, the Thoroughbred racetrack proposed for Erie, Pa., was the subject of a Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission hearing Oct. 9 in Erie.
Peninsula Gaming Partners announced today it has entered into an agreement to acquire 50% of Evangeline Downs, a racetrack near Lafayette, La.
Slot machines and card tables had an undeniable influence on the 8% growth seen in North American purses in 2000. Out of the top 10 racetracks in the United States and Canada, ranked by growth in total purses, seven offer slot and/or video poker machines and one offers card games. Leading the list is Sunland Park, the New Mexico racetrack nestled against the Texas border town of El Paso. Gross purses at Sunland Park grew 160%, from $1.69 million in 1999 to $4.4 million last year.
Facing a state Supreme Court deadline of June 15 to deal with public school funding problems, Republican members of the Ohio House of Representatives apparently are behind a plan to install video lottery machines at racetracks to raise between $230 million to $930 million in revenue over the next two years.
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