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.
The Texas Horsemen's Partnership has asked its 5,000 members to send e-mail or letters to Gov. Rick Perry and state legislators asking them to support a bill that would legalize video lottery terminals at the 10 licensed horse and dog tracks in the state.
The state of New York and an Indian tribe signed a memorandum of
understanding May 12 for a major casino in the Catskill Mountains resort area.
A pivotal week for slot-machine legislation in Pennsylvania is ahead as the Senate is expected to debate a plan to legalize the devices at the state's racetracks, possibly May 12-13. Supporters of slots are planning to "leapfrog" a potentially hostile committee vote by putting the legislation on the floor as an amendment to another bill, according to the Associated Press.
The New York Racing Association cannot proceed with its video lottery terminal program unless it strikes a deal with its horsemen to reduce the revenue-sharing for purses in the later years of the program, NYRA chairman Barry Schwartz said.
A key Illinois lawmaker has unveiled comprehensive gaming legislation that would authorize 3,200 slot machines for Illinois racetracks.
The Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association has put its support behind legislation that would give horsemen 25% of gross revenue from racetrack slot machines. Meanwhile, a prominent Standardbred breeder told members of a Senate Finance Committee May 6 breeders won't receive enough revenue under splits contained in two slots bills that have been introduced.
Magna Entertainment Corp. has plans for new pari-mutuel wagering machines designed to make betting easier for first-timers, officials said May 1 during a press conference after the company's annual meeting.
A deal to bring video lottery terminals to New York racetracks with an increased slice of the pie for track operators includes other provisions, including removal of restrictions on pari-mutuel takeout. The VLT deal is expected to bring the state $165 million this year, legislative sources said.
A deal to entice New York racetracks to install video lottery terminals was close the evening of April 28, but officials acknowledged a side deal is being hammered out to bring VLTs to the state's off-track betting parlors.
Another legislative package that would bring video gaming to Michigan racetracks has been launched in the state House. And while circumstances point to this attempt as having the best chance yet of becoming law, lurking in the corner is the 600-pound gorilla of the Michigan gaming industry--the Detroit casino lobby--ready to quash any infringement upon its territory.
Instant Racing, a pari-mutuel video lottery game currently offered at racetracks in Arkansas, has been approved by the Oregon Racing Commission for use at the state's racetracks. Oregon is the second state to approve the devices.
A survey of Minnesota residents indicates 70% support a plan to open a racino at Canterbury Park as a means to raise revenue for the state budget.
The first of three hearings on slot machines at racetracks in Pennsylvania was held by the Senate Finance Committee April 22. The hearing was highlighted by comments from Sen. Robert Tomlinson, who said he would make some changes to the bill he introduced that has the support of racetrack operators in the state.
Delaware Park will kick off its more than six-month racing season April 26 with the $75,000 Legal Light Stakes, one of 30 major events on the stakes calendar. The highlight is the $750,000 Delaware Handicap, a grade II race set for July 20.
Racetrack slot machines ran into many roadblocks during the Maryland legislative session this year, but some lawmakers said the issue will come up again in 2004, and that it has a good chance to pass.
New York is poised to give a greater share of video lottery terminal revenue to racetracks and at the same time add more to education, New York Racing Association chairman Barry Schwartz said April 18.
The Bensalem, Pa., Township Council gave preliminary approval April 15 to Philadelphia Park for construction of a 149,000-square-foot temporary building that's expected to house 3,000 slot machines should legislation pass.
Legislation to legalize video lottery terminals at Massachusetts racetracks failed to pass the state House of Representatives April 15, but racing industry officials remain upbeat, according to published reports.
A Pennsylvania lawmaker April 15 introduced legislation that would give horsemen 25% of gross revenue from racetrack slot machines. The bill also includes provisions for health benefits and live-racing protection.
The Ohio Racing Commission has conditionally approved the sale of Scioto Downs, a Columbus Standardbred track, to MTR Gaming, owner of Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort in West Virginia.
Though racetrack slot machines still haven't been approved by the Pennsylvania legislature, the Bensalem Township Council is scheduled to vote April 14 on Philadelphia Park's plans for a building to house the machines.
Racing and Las Vegas-style casino betting would go hand-in-hand under the latest high-stakes gambling hall proposal for the Catskills resort area of New York. Back for a second try, this time with a different Indian tribe as partners, Alpha Hospitality on Thursday filed an application with the federal government to build a $500 million casino adjacent to Monticello Raceway.
Officials in Texas said support for racetrack gaming continues to grow in state government and in communities with pari-mutuel facilities.
The Ohio House of Representatives April 9 passed a t wo-year budget that opens the door for a public vote on video lottery terminals at Ohio's seven racetracks.
A Quinnipiac University Poll released April 2 indicates support for the addition of video lottery terminals and/or slot machines at state racetracks, both as a tool for balancing the state budget and to help the state's struggling horse racing industry.
Top government officials have shot down reports New York City Off Track Betting Corp. may be in line to get video lottery terminals for its betting parlors.
Delays aside, Finger Lakes Racetrack plans to begin its 162-day season on April 18, though the track's owners and horsemen continue to have their focus on an elusive goal: video lottery terminals.
The issue of video lottery terminals at Ohio racetracks is again being discussed in the Ohio General Assembly. The latest proposal would put the question up for public vote later this year.
A proposal for racetrack slot machines is up for a vote in Maryland April 2, but a key legislator said the measure would fail.
A Louisiana Senate committee April 1 approved slot machines for Fair Grounds in New Orleans. The measure, which passed on a 4-2 vote, now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.
The Ohio Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners has issued a serious call to the state's racing and breeding industry as it pushes for alternative gaming: Nothing will be accomplished without a strong grass-roots campaign, and should gaming be approved, track operators must invest revenue to promote horse racing and revitalize aging facilities.
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