Expedited KY Instant Racing Ruling Sought

Expedited KY Instant Racing Ruling Sought
Photo: File Photo
Instant Racing machine at Oaklawn Park.

Both supporters and opponents of bringing Instant Racing games to Kentucky are in favor of bypassing an appellate court and going straight to the state Supreme Court.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and the state’s racetracks made the request for a ruling to be made next by the state Supreme Court. If the request, which is not opposed by an organization that filed the appeal, is granted it would bypass the state’s Court of Appeals.

Franklin Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate ruled in late December that “historical race” wagering, in which bettors make wagers on video replays of previously run races, constitute pari-mutuel wagering under state law and is therefore legal.

The Family Foundation of Kentucky appealed Wingate’s ruling, contending that wagering on historical races is a form of electronic gaming prohibited in the state because it is not pari-mutuel gambling and therefore illegal. According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, the Family Foundation will not oppose the motion to move the case on to the Supreme Court.

The KHRC, the tracks, and the state’s finance department filed the motion to have the matter sent directly to the state’s highest court if it is deemed to be of "great and immediate public" interest.

The motion noted the prominence of Kentucky’s racing industry and the competition it faces from expanded gambling in other states.

Instant Racing has been successful at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas and the Kentucky horse industry sees it as an additional source of revenue, in lieu of the repeated unsuccessful efforts to obtain approval for video lottery gaming at tracks.

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