Alternative Gaming

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Magna Appeals Licensing of Proposed Erie Track

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Magna Entertainment's Pennsylvania subsidiary has appealed a decision by regulators to grant MTR Gaming a license to build Presque Isle Downs, a Thoroughbred racetrack proposed for the Erie area.

Ohio Governor: No Go, Again, on Racetrack Slots

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Gov. Bob Taft has again warned the Ohio legislature that he would veto any bill allowing video slot machines at the state's seven commercial racetracks. Taft issued a terse written warning he would veto the bill that would bring in an estimated $500 million for primary and secondary education.

Bill to Authorize Racetrack VLTs Introduced in Ohio

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Legislation to authorize 14,000 video slot machines at Ohio's seven racetracks was introduced Nov. 19. The bill, which includes an emergency clause that requires a two-thirds vote by the Senate and House, was introduced by Sen. Louis Blessing, whose district includes River Downs.

In Kentucky, Expanded Gambling a Topic Again

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It has been months since Kentucky's racing industry made a push for alternative gaming in the legislature, but the issue of gaming, in light of the state's budget deficit, is slowly creeping back into the picture.

Racinos: Room for Growth, Need for Diversification

Though the results of the Nov. 5 elections have the potential to be positive for the racing industry in some states, a top casino executive warned against the "irrational exuberance" that could develop at a time when racetrack gaming must become destination gaming.

Officials Discuss Benefits of Racetrack Gaming

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If horse racing is to gain ground, racing interests and state lawmakers must find a way to integrate pari-mutuel wagering with electronic gaming devices, said Dr. Richard Thalheimer, professor of equine administration at the University of Louisville.

New York Tracks May Face More Casino Competition

In a move with implications for the state's racing industry, the federal government has given the go-ahead for a western New York Indian tribe to open three casinos, a decision that could pave the way for three other new casinos in New York's Catskill Mountains.

Slots Give Delta Purses $12.8M in Less Than a Year

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Slot machines at Delta Downs in Vinton, La., have generated almost $13 million in purse money in less than eight months this year, according to financial records released by the Louisiana State Gaming Control Board.

Confucius Say: Mucho Money at Charles Town

Charles Town Races, which came back from the dead with the introduction on video lottery terminals in the late 1990s, will offer more than $1 million in purses this weekend in conjunction with the West Virginia Breeders Classics.

NYRA and Trump in VLT Deal? It's Possible

The New York Racing Association, with its video lottery terminal program running behind schedule, is turning to outside casino operators to run its proposed Aqueduct VLT facility, and among those under consideration is Atlantic City casino mogul Donald Trump.

Michigan Poll: Gambling OK, But Is There Too Much?

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While legislation that would allow video gaming at Michigan racetracks awaits action in the state legislature, residents have voiced their opposition to the proliferation of casino-type gambling in a recent poll.

Agreement in New Jersey: Tracks Need Slot Machines

A hearing Sept. 19 by the New Jersey Assembly Tourism and Gaming Committee produced a rare show of unity between Thoroughbred and Standardbred horsemen as representatives from each testified in favor of legislation that would allow slot machines at four New Jersey racetracks.

Interesting Twist: Racetrack Slots Hurt Boat's Business

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The Isle of Capri in Lake Charles, La., wants to move one of its two riverboat casinos closer to the Texas state line because a lucrative slot-machine parlor at nearby Delta Downs is having a negative effect on its business.

Two Indiana Tracks Must Compete for Subsidy

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The Indiana Horse Racing Commission, in close vote, has ruled that two racetracks will compete for a riverboat admissions tax subsidy rather than split the revenue 50-50.

Pennsylvania Track Plan Could Draw Opposition

The former president of Pocono Downs has a plan to bring Standardbred racing back to the Delaware Valley, but some view his proposal as an attempt to cash in on slot machines should the Pennsylvania legislature approve such a measure.

Kentucky Governor: Consider Expanded Gambling

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Expanded gambling is preferable to raising taxes to help balance Kentucky's budget, Gov. Paul Patton said Aug. 5 during a news conference that kicked off Responsible Gaming Education Week.

In Michigan, Racetrack Gaming Part of Proposal

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The future of Michigan's Thoroughbred industry may lie squarely in the hands of three departing Republican politicians who are working against a year-end deadline to decide the fate of a legislative package that could reinvigorate racing in the state.

Report: Benefits of Ohio Racetrack Slots Exaggerated

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The costs of problem gambling could outweigh the economic benefits if Ohio's seven racetracks were permitted to install slot machines, according to a draft report by a committee studying the impact of gambling in the state.

VLT Operating Hours Still Hot Issue in New York

Racetracks in New York have launched a last-ditch effort to extend the operating hours of the state's new video lottery program. The tracks insist they need to let gamblers stay at their facilities longer if they are to turn a profit.

Ruling Worth $17M to Prairie Meadows in 2002

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Prairie Meadows stands to save $17 million in gaming tax payments this year and $23 million by 2004 after the Iowa Supreme Court ruled June 12 that it was unconstitutional to charge a higher tax rate for slot machines at racetracks than those on riverboats.

Iowa Court: Racetrack Casino Tax Isn't Equitable

The pari-mutuel industry in Iowa got a major boost June 12 when state Supreme Court justices ruled they could "find no rational reason for treating racetrack slot machines differently than riverboat slot machines." Racetracks currently pay a 32% tax, while the riverboats pay 20%.

Louisiana Legislators Wary of Racetrack Proposals

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Plans have been floated for two racetracks in Louisiana, but some legislators have asked the state racing commission not to issue any more licenses. They believe the plans are more about gaming than horse racing.

Indiana Gaming Expansion Lingers at Special Session

Dockside gaming and pull-tab legislation were not passed into law during the Indiana General Assembly's regular session earlier this year, but both measures have made their way into a new budget bill during the special session now under way.

Ohio Racetrack Gaming: Only a Matter of Time?

The Ohio Senate May 30 concurred with House changes and approved a $1.17-billion budget bill that has no provisions for video lottery terminals at the state's seven racetracks. However, supporters of legislation to legalize VLTs are still confident the proposal will pass in the future.

Racetrack Slots Not Dead Yet in Illinois

No one in Illinois government seems to like the idea of slot machines at racetracks, but the proposal remained on the table as the legislature's spring session went into overtime in an attempt to find new revenue sources to solve a multibillion-dollar budget shortfall.

Delta Slots: $32M in Revenue in Three Months

Slot machines at Delta Downs have generated more than $32 million in gross revenue in less than three months, according to financial records released by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board.

Racetrack Slots Seem Good Bet in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania horsemen and racetracks may eventually be the beneficiaries of slot-machine revenue given the fact all three candidates in the state's race for governor have indicated to various degrees that they support alternative gambling.

NYRA Franchise Extension Approved by Legislature

A deal to extend the New York Racing Association's franchise to run three tracks in the state was approved May 16 by the Senate and Assembly as part of a state budget package. NYRA must have VLTs in operation at Aqueduct by April 1, 2003.

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