Video Lottery Terminals

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First VLT Election in Florida Set for March

The Broward County (Florida) Commission voted Tuesday to approve a plan allowing voters to decide whether to allow video lottery terminals at the county's four pari-mutuel facilities, although a number of details are still undetermined.

Michigan Racing Commissioner to Leave Post

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Michigan Racing Commissioner Robert Geake said he would leave his post when his term expires at the end of December, and that he hopes to make the long-awaited decision on granting a suburban Detroit racetrack license before he goes.

Once Again, Ohio Racetrack VLT Push Looms

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A supporter of video lottery terminals at Ohio's seven racetracks said Nov. 8 there is an "excellent chance" the proposal would go before Ohio voters in a November 2005 referendum.

Passage of Michigan Proposal Hinders Racing

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Michigan voters effectively sounded the death knell for racinos in the state when they passed the anti-gambling Proposal 1 by a 58%-42% margin with 98% of precincts reporting.

FTBOA Wants Racetrack in Ocala, VLTs

The board of directors for the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association has formulated an ambitious legislative agenda that would bring live racing to Ocala and get video lottery terminals installed at the state's racetracks.

Magna Back in Hunt for Pennsylvania Track License

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The Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission has finalized at five the number of applicants seeking the final Thoroughbred racing license in the state. Only four applicants hit an informal Aug. 16 deadline to apply for the last license, but Magna Entertainment Corp. has reiterated its interest in building a track near Pittsburgh International Airport.

Michigan Racino Bill Still in Conference Committee

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Officially there is still life in legislation to introduce video lottery terminals to Michigan racetracks. But following an Aug. 4 vote in the state legislature, the breathing is shallow and the pulse is weak.

Instant Racing Handle Nears $100M Mark

RaceTech, the company behind Instant Racing, expects to top the $100-million mark in total handle sometime this year. Instant Racing--basically pari-mutuel video lottery terminals--went online early in 2000 at Oaklawn Park and Southland Greyhound Park in Arkansas.

Conflict Over Charles Town Project Resurfaces

Just weeks before work is to begin on banking the turns of the racing surface at Charles Town Races & Slots, a new organization called "The Thoroughbred Club" claims a survey reveals support for expansion of the six-furlong track to seven furlongs.

Will Saratoga Neighbor Add More Gaming Machines?

Not only will Saratoga Gaming and Raceway not close down its video lottery terminal parlor in August to accommodate the New York Racing Association, but there is talk of the NYRA neighbor adding another 700 VLTs, a state official said.

Maryland Eyes Special Session to Tackle Gaming

With Pennsylvania about to become a major gambling state given the approval of slot machines at racetracks and other locations, Maryland lawmakers are discussing a possible special session to revisit gaming legislation.

Analysts: New York Racinos No Sure Bet

Hit by relatively high revenue-sharing demands from the state and plans for even more gambling competition, New York's racetrack video gaming machine program has a murky future, Wall Street analysts and industry officials said.

Racing System in Puerto Rico Approved for Gaming

Legislation to authorize gaming through the El Comandante Racetrack and Off-Track Betting Agency system in Puerto Rico has been approved by the government, said Equus Gaming Co., a partnership with Thoroughbred and entertainment interests in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Puerto Rico's El Comandante to Get VLTs

The Puerto Rican government has granted approval for up to 6,000 video lottery terminals to be placed at El Comandante Racetrack in San Juan and its approximately 700 off-track betting outlets on the island.

Stalled VLT Operation Leads Racetrack to Close

Batavia Downs, believed to be the nation's oldest nighttime Standardbred track, will not open for racing this summer because of dwindling revenue and an inability to get financing for its racino operation, track officials said.

Consolidation of Racing, Gaming Sought in New York

New York Gov. George Pataki May 27 proposed a complete overhaul of racing laws in the state, a move that would block the New York Racing Association's bid to get its racetrack franchise extended this year, and provide incentives to get video lottery terminals in operation at Aqueduct.

Ohio VLT Proposal Appears on Fast Track--Again

Supporters of legislation to allow video lottery terminals at Ohio's seven racetracks hope to win approval to put the proposal on the November ballot before the legislative session ends for the summer.

Jersey-Bred Program Gets Boost From Subsidy

The New Jersey breeding program will benefit from a four-year agreement reached between New Jersey's Thoroughbred and Standardbred horsemen, as well as its casino industry, officials announced May 25 at a press luncheon at Monmouth Park to celebrate the May 29 opening of the 2004 racing season.

VLTs Spark Interest in Long-Shut Tioga Park

An investment group is taking ownership of Tioga Park, shuttered to racing in upstate New York since 1978, with plans to begin Standardbred racing next year in a facility that it hopes will also include a video lottery terminal casino.

VLT Provision Fails to Muster Support in Texas

Unless the Senate revives interest in the concept soon, it appears the Texas legislature will not legalize video lottery terminals at the state's five horse tracks and three Greyhound tracks.

Michigan Racino Measure Still Faces Obstacles

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Legislation to legalize video lottery terminals at Michigan racetracks took a tenuous, toddling step forward April 29 when the state Senate narrowly approved a racino bill after nearly a year of inaction. But much work remains.

Ohio Governor Again Says He Opposes Casino Gambling

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Ohio Gov. Bob Taft has again stated his opposition to installation of video lottery terminals at the state's seven racetracks. Meanwhile, a key legislator has suggested non-track casinos be located in urban areas.

Texas Governor Calls Special Session

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The addition of video lottery terminals at Texas dog and horse tracks will be one of the items discussed when the Texas state legislature convenes for a special session beginning on April 20. The special session can last as long as 30 days and the governor can call as many sessions as he wants.

In Florida, Industry Not on Same Legislative Page

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The Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association, which believes the state's racing industry is at a crisis stage, has released an aggressive legislative agenda that takes aim at laws its says create an uneven playing field with other gambling entities. Still, it appears there isn't industry consensus on just how to proceed.

Michigan Senator Predicts Passage of VLT Bill

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A member of the state Senate committee considering legislation that would allow video lottery terminals at Michigan racetracks predicted the week of March 22 that the bill would be voted out of committee and passed by the Senate this spring.

Measure Would Authorize Betting Hubs in Kentucky

Legislation to authorize wagering hubs in Kentucky was introduced in the state Senate in early March and is moving through the legislative process as an amendment to a bill that would permit artificially inseminated horses to race in Kentucky. A hub measure was introduced in 2002 but it failed to garner support.

$50M Delta Downs Expansion Project Under Way

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A $50-million expansion of the Delta Downs Racetrack & Casino is well under way with completion expected by the end of 2004. The project includes a hotel and a bigger parlor for slot machines.

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