The future of video gaming at racetracks and dockside gaming at riverboat casinos in Indiana could be decided as early as Monday.
Dockside gambling on Indiana riverboat casinos and electronic pull-tabs at Hoosier Park and the proposed Indianapolis Downs are one step closer to reality after a close vote in the Indiana Senate Jan. 31.
Indiana House and Senate committees passed bills Jan. 22 that pose substantial changes to the riverboat and horse racing industries in the state.
Indiana Gov. Frank O'Bannon gave his state of the state address Tuesday evening before members of the General Assembly, and the pari-mutuel industry wasn't left out of the equation.
Hoosier Park broke a record for all-sources handle during its 70-day meet that ended Dec. 3, but also reported declines in on-track handle, attendance, purses, and starters per race.
Racing and breeding news and information.
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission granted 2002 racing dates to Hoosier Park and Indianapolis Downs Tuesday, but not without some changes. Hoosier Park will conduct a 90-day Standardbred meet and 70-day Thoroughbred meet, while Indianapolis Downs will offer 19 days of Standardbred racing next December.
One week after Indiana Governor Frank O'Bannon proposed the transfer of $10 million from the horse racing industry to the state's general fund, Hoosier Park and Indianapolis Downs officials are calling the cut critical and are looking to other forms of revenue to offset the potential loss.
In what seemed like the hunch bet of the year, Miss Indiana went off as the 3-10 favorite in Friday night's $74,450 Miss Indiana Stakes at Hoosier Park. But Amanda's Crown and jockey Mike Morgan had other ideas, however, and the 11-1 shot rallied to post a 3 3/4 length triumph over 15-1 longshot Connies Travels.
Racing and breeding news and information.
Faced with a slumping local economy and notification from state officials that Indiana's growing budget deficit could leave it without money by mid-2003, Gov. Frank O'Bannon on Thursday night outlined a plan to keep the state from going broke.
News and notes from around the industry...
After having offered an unprecedented 193 days of live Standardbred, Thoroughbred, and Quarter Horse racing this season, Hoosier Park on Thursday submitted a request to the Indiana Horse Racing Commission for 120 days in 2002.
Centaur Racing is making a second attempt within a year to increase its stake in Hoosier Park. The company must first shed a moratorium it incurred during its last effort to buy a greater share of the Anderson, Ind., racetrack.
Indianapolis Downs has filed an application for a license to operate a satellite wagering facility in Evansville, Ind., only minutes from Ellis Park in Henderson, Ky. Officials with the proposed racetrack claim the southern Indiana marketplace is underserved by Hoosier Park, currently the state's only pari-mutuel racetrack. Churchill Downs owns Hoosier Park and Ellis Park.
Through sloppy track conditions, Scoop and Robby Albarado emerged as the final leaders to prevail in the $200,000-added Indiana Breeders' Cup Oaks, Hoosier Park's first graded stakes event. The grade III race was the featured event on the 11-race program Friday.
The Tony Dutrow-trained entry of Saratoga Games and Burning Roma is the 5-2 morning-line favorite for Saturday's $300,000 Indiana Derby at 1 1/16 miles at Hoosier Park. A full field of 12 will contest the ninth race on the program.
Caressing, the Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old filly for 2000, will start from the inside post in Friday's $200,000 Indiana Breeders' Cup Oaks at 1 1/16 miles at Hoosier Park. She will be joined by eight other 3-year-old fillies in the race, a grade III event, and Hoosier Park's only graded stakes.
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission has established criteria for the distribution of riverboat casino admissions-tax revenue in light of the fact a second racetrack is scheduled to open in 2002 in the state.
The Indiana Horse Racing Commission on Wednesday unanimously approved plans for Indianapolis Downs, which would become the state's second pari-mutuel racetrack. It did so despite continued objections by Hoosier Park and its majority owner, Churchill Downs Inc. Hoosier Park officials have said the central Indiana market cannot support two racetracks.
An application to build what would become Indiana's second pari-mutuel racetrack will be heard May 9 during an Indiana Horse Racing Commission hearing. The hearing on the proposed Indianapolis Downs could last until May 10 depending on testimony.
Efforts by Indiana riverboat casino interests to get approval of dockside gambling fell short when the Senate Rules Committee voted 5-3 against the legislation. According to published reports, one factor in the bill's failure was an amendment that deleted authorization for pull-tab gaming at Churchill Downs-managed Hoosier Park and off-track betting sites in the state. The amendment also did away with a proposed OTB site in the resort area of French Lick.
Bits and pieces from around the industry
Legislation that would permit Indiana's riverboat casinos to remain dockside and allow Hoosier Park to install "pull-tabs"-a type of video lottery terminal-passed the House of Representatives on Wednesday, but the bill figures to hit roadblocks on the Senate side.
A comprehensive overhaul of Indiana's gaming laws, including a provision to allow electronic pull-tab machines at Churchill Downs-owned Hoosier Park, was approved Wednesday by a House committee. The proposed legislation passed on an 11-3 vote by the House Public Policy Committee is designed to alter state laws allowing dockside gambling for the state's riverboat industry.
Nicholas Stein, an attorney and racing fan, will head the Indiana Horse Racing Commission.
Churchill Downs' president Alex Waldrop will oversee all company operations in Kentucky. Former Ellis Park president Jeffery Smith will take over the transition of Arlington International Racecourse into the Churchill family, but remains head of Hoosier Park.
A plan by Churchill Downs Management Co. to sell an additional 26% interest in Hoosier Park to an Indiana company has been turned down by the Indiana Horse Racing Commission.
Indiana Horse Racing Commission has been asked to reconsider its denial of an operating license for Indianapolis Downs
Churchill Downs reported Wednesday that net revenues increased 57% to $131.9 million and net earnings rose 34% to $18.3 million during the second quarter of fiscal year 2000.
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