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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.