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New York Racetrack Denied Operating License

State regulators have denied a 2004 racing application for troubled Vernon Downs, a Standardbred racetrack in central New York. The Feb. 27 ruling by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board prohibits racing at the facility and keeps shuttered a recently completed video lottery terminal casino.

Iowa House OKs Table Games for Racetracks

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Prairie Meadows and two Greyhound tracks will be permitted to offer table games under Iowa legislation that bans new gaming licenses in counties where they aren't currently in place.

Bill Would Increase Subsidy to Indiana Racetracks

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Indiana's horse racing industry may have another opportunity to secure more financial stability. An amendment introduced and passed in the Senate Finance Committee Feb. 19 would increase the annual subsidy to the industry from $27 million to $44 million. It goes to the full Senate for consideration.

Finger Lakes Officially State's First Thoroughbred Racino

Patrons waited more than two hours to enter Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack Feb. 18 for the opening of the track's video lottery terminal parlor. The scene was reminiscent of one that played out a few weeks earlier when Saratoga Gaming and Raceway became New York's first operating racino.

Kentucky's Casino Hopes Move Forward

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Officials representing the Kentucky horse industry agreed Wednesday to proposed alternative gaming legislation that would put casinos at four racetracks and four other non-racetrack facilities in the state.

Proposed Lease of Monmouth Park Topic of Meeting

The second of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority's Monmouth Park Stakeholders Committee meetings is scheduled for Feb. 11, and the topic is scheduled to be the lease of the racetrack. The NJSEA has said it's exploring the possibility of leasing Monmouth and Meadowlands.

Indiana Racetrack Gaming Bill Clears Committee

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A bill that would allow electronic pull-tab machines at Indiana racetracks and two satellite wagering facilities crossed a second hurdle Jan. 21. The House Ways and Means committee approved the legislation by a 17-10 vote and sent it along for consideration by the full House.

Casino Purse Supplement Considered in New Jersey

Under a plan being considered by the New Jersey legislature, the governor's office, and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, Thoroughbred and Standardbred purses could be supplemented by revenue from Atlantic City casinos, possibly this year.

Oklahoma Deal Calls for Racetrack Gaming

Indian tribes, the horse racing industry, and Gov. Brad Henry have reached an agreement on legislation that would allow racetracks to install gaming machines and regulate devices currently operating at tribal casinos. The measure now goes to the state legislature.

Kentucky Legislative Leaders Cool on Racetrack Gaming

With the 2004 Kentucky General Assembly session set to get under way Jan. 6, the state's racing and breeding industry, which has devised legislation to authorize a constitutional amendment on racetrack casinos, is working to line up sponsors. Legislative leaders, however, continue to downplay the chances of passage of any bill to expand gambling.

Kentucky Plan: Public Vote for Racetrack Casinos

Though the prospects for expanding gambling in Kentucky remain clouded, the racing and breeding industry has settled on a plan for a constitutional amendment to authorize full-scale casino gambling at the state's eight racetracks.

New York Racino Stalled by Licensing Difficulties

Licensing problems have delayed, for possibly well into 2004, the opening of Vernon Downs, which was to become the first racetrack in New York with video lottery terminals. That honor will now go to Saratoga Raceway, which is scheduled to open its VLT operation in mid-January.

Evangeline Downs Gets Early Christmas Present

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The slot machines parlor at Evangeline Downs in Opelousas, La., opened Dec. 19 even though the facility won't offer live horse racing until 2005. The 2004 meet will be held at the existing Evangeline Downs in Carencro, about 10 miles south of the new site.

Hastings Harness Neighbor Wins OK for Slot Machines

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Fraser Downs, a British Columbia Standardbred track located not far from Hastings Park, received approval Dec. 16 to install slot machines. The Surrey City Council will schedule a fourth reading on the measure and approve final documents in a few weeks, the track said in a press release.

Vernon Downs Officials Appeal Denial of Licenses

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Mid-State Raceway key investor Shawn Scott and board chairman Hoolae Paoa, president and chief executive officer of the company's Vernon Downs, Miracle Isle Gaming Resort, and Miracle Isle video gaming facility subsidiaries, have appealed a decision by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board to deny their requests for permanent licenses.

How Much Do Slots Really Help the Racing Product?

Jean Major said he can't argue with the benefits of racetrack slot machines in Ontario, Canada. But he indicated there are two sides to every story, and suggested some procedures to ensure substantive growth in the horse racing industry.

Reports: NYRA Indictment Imminent; Franchise Safe

New York media outlets have reported an indictment of the New York Racing Association on conspiracy, tax evasion, and fraud charges is expected, possibly as soon as Dec. 5. In an unusual deal, NYRA would be allowed to keep its franchise to operate Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga, according to the reports.

Racetrack Gaming Push Hits Another Wall in Ohio

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Legislation to put the issue of racetrack video lottery terminals on the ballot in March 2004 has been killed in the Ohio General Assembly, a lobbyist said Dec. 2, the deadline to get the measure passed.

Racino Impact is Focus of University Study

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A study that examines the impact of racinos on the racing product will be presented Dec. 9 at the second Racing & Gaming Summit in Tucson, Ariz., the day before the University of Arizona Symposium on Racing begins.

Compromise on Ohio VLTs as Deadline Looms

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A compromise proposal to put the issue of racetrack video lottery terminals before voters has been offered in the Ohio Senate, though it must pass the General Assembly by Dec. 3 if it is to make the ballot.

Opinions Vary on Prospects for Racino Legislation

The signs point to progress in Kentucky in terms of a bid for racetrack gaming in 2004, while in Pennsylvania, the horse industry is slowing the prospects for passage of legislation, officials said Nov. 11 during a panel discussion at Racino 2003 at Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort.

Ward: Thoroughbred Industry Has Serious Work to Do

The Thoroughbred industry will have to face the music and change its tune in the next few years if it is to flourish, trainer John Ward suggested during a lively discussion the evening of Nov. 4 at the monthly Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers' Club meeting.

Ohio HBPA Says Thoroughbred Racing at Disadvantage

The Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has told regulators state laws favor the Standardbred industry to the point where Thoroughbred racing is unfairly paying millions of dollars at a time when it badly needs the money.

Budget Plan Would Put VLTs at New York OTBs

Video lottery terminals would be permitted at off-track betting facilities in New York under a plan being considered by state budget negotiators. The idea is being promoted to deal with another huge, multibillion-dollar budget looming over the next two years and a failure by racetracks to get VLTs up and running quickly enough to send revenue-sharing money to the state.

Pennsylvania Governor to Speak at Racino Conference

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, whose 2002 campaign platform included an endorsement for racetrack gaming, will issue a "major policy speech" Nov. 12 at the closing session of Racino 2003 at Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort in West Virginia.

Ohio Senate OKs VLT Ballot Question for 2004

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The Ohio Senate on Oct. 15 took a major step in approving video lottery terminals for the state's seven racetracks. The Senate, by 24-9 vote, approved a bill that would put the issue of VLTs before the public in the March 2, 2004 primary.

Texas Official: Constitutional Amendment for Gaming

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Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has declared voters must approve an amendment to the state constitution before any of the 10 licensed horse or Greyhound tracks in Texas can install video lottery terminals.

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