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New York Racing Industry Upset With VLT Plan

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.

Maryland Governor Introduces Slots Bill

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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%.

VLT Legislation 'Hot Topic' at TTA Conference

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.

The Forgotten Player

By Ray Paulick -- Organizations for breeders and owners have to be engaged in the efforts to bring slots to racetracks.

Meeker to Address State Legislators in Florida

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.

Magna Makes Pitch for Slots in Maryland

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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.

Slots Opposition Growing in Ohio Senate

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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.

Pennsylvania Governor-Elect to Push for Slot Machines

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.

Driving Us Crazy

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.

VLT Bill Introduced in Kentucky; Informational Meeting Set

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.

Churchill Increases Political Contributions to Kentucky Lawmakers

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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.

Churchill Downs Moving Closer to Slot Advocacy

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.

The Bottom Line: Slot Machine Gaming Boosts Purses

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.

Ohio Lawmakers Look to Put VLTs at Tracks to Help Schools

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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