An effort to win approval for racetrack video lottery terminals failed Nov. 4 in Colorado, but in Maine, voters gave their approval for racetrack VLTs.
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.
High-ranking New Jersey politicians and members of the horse racing industry will meet Nov. 12 in Trenton to discuss issues vital to the health of the racing and breeding industry, including the uncertain future of Monmouth Park and Meadowlands.
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.
Pennsylvania Sen. Robert "Tommy" Tomlinson, whose district includes Philadelphia Park in Bensalem, is planning to reintroduce a slot-machine bill as early as the week of Oct. 20, according to a report in the Bucks County Courier Times.
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.
Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm said a proposal to authorize video lottery terminals at racetracks is one possible way to help balance the state's budget.
Magna Entertainment Corp., which recently said it would rebuild Pimlico Race Course, said the project now hinges on whether the state's racetracks are approved for slot machines.
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.
The euphoria after the Keeneland September yearling sale posted gains of almost 30% in gross and average apparently hasn't carried over to the Standardbred business. Numbers for the recent Tattersalls select yearling sale at The Red Mile in Lexington actually were fairly strong, but industry leaders indicated the storm clouds haven't blown away.
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.
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.
A construction program that began 2 1/2 weeks ago to install video lottery terminals at Aqueduct racetrack in New York has been halted because of the ongoing criminal investigation of the New York Racing Association.
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.
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.
In a case closely watched by the racing industry, a New York judge today upheld legislation permitting racetracks in New York to offer video lottery terminals.
Instant Racing, launched in Arkansas three years ago, was approved for use at pari-mutuel facilities by the Wyoming Racing Commission July 11. The devices, which resemble video lottery terminals but are linked to pari-mutuel pools, will first be installed at an off-track betting parlor operated by Wyoming Downs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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