Issues impacting the long-term health of California horse racing were dissected Dec. 9 and produced a general message: Think outside the box, because the prospect of revenue from gaming is very dim.
- By Tom LaMarra
Churchill Downs Inc. president and chief executive officer Bob Evans said Dec. 7 there are reasons to be optimistic about the future of horse racing -- but not without major changes in the way the industry does business.
Illinois senators approved a major expansion of casino gambling, including racetrack slot machines, Dec. 1, but the measure must now pass the House of Representatives and be signed by Gov. Pat Quinn.
Penn National Gaming Inc. said Nov. 30 its joint venture with MI Developments in Maryland will continue, and that it planned to work on an "expedited basis" to devise a 2011 live racing schedule in the state.
Las Vegas-based Pinnacle Entertainment confirmed Nov. 26 it has a deal to purchase River Downs near Cincinnati, Ohio, for $45 million.
A state court in Tallahassee, Fla., Nov. 22 ruled in favor of Hialeah Park on one count of a lawsuit that challenges its legal right to build a casino with Las Vegas-style slot machines.
An informal poll conducted by the Hall Institute the week of Nov. 15 showed more than half would support installing slot machines at Meadowlands in New Jersey.
New York's largest horsemen's group is among the latest calling on the Paterson administration to halt a looming agreement with a Wisconsin Indian tribe to build a casino in the Catskill Mountains.
With a Dec. 1 deadline on racing dates looming, Maryland horsemen are advocating a schedule similar to that of 2010 even though a shutdown of Laurel Park for live racing and training is on the table.
Faced with making a decision brought about by the battering of the Kentucky horse racing industry, Turfway Park has opted to cut some overnight purses in order to maintain a weekly stakes schedule.
Republican Ohio Gov.-elect John Kasich wants to study a plan to put video lottery terminals at the state's racetracks, a move that has the Ohio Lottery Commission in a holding pattern on the proposal.
Pinnacle Race Course officials shut down the Detroit, Mich.-area track following the end of its live meet Oct. 31 and announced that simulcast operations would be suspended until at least the spring 2011.
There may be growing sentiment in the Kentucky legislature to pass a measure authorizing a constitutional amendment on racetrack gaming, officials indicated after the Nov. 2 election.
The Maryland Jockey Club will map out a plan for the future over the next several weeks and the closure of Laurel Park for live racing and training remains a real possibility, officials said Nov. 3.
Voters in Anne Arundel County, Md., approved a ballot measure that grants zoning for a slot machine casino at the Arundel Mills Mall.
A plan to put slot machines at Arundel Mills Mall instead of Laurel Park is the driving force of a Nov. 2 referendum in Anne Arundel County, Md.
Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. reported a reduced net income loss for the third quarter and said it's looking to expand into new markets while adhering to "disciplined capital-spend and return metrics."
Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Indiana reported strong across-the-board gains for its 2010 meet that ended Oct. 24.
River Downs near Cincinnati, Ohio, has been sold to Pinnacle Entertainment, a gaming company that operates a casino in neighboring Indiana, according to sources close to the matter.
A Kentucky Horse Racing Commission committee is considering changes to the state's Breeders' Incentive Fund, money for which comes from a 6% sales tax on stud fees.
Beulah Park, which has changed hands several times in its long history, will open its 2010-11 meet Oct. 12 under the new ownership of Penn National Gaming Inc.
Officials said they are close to a deal to try to bring New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. out of bankruptcy protection, but that a final agreement is being blocked by several harness tracks in the state.
A positive day for horse racing at Turfway Park couldn't hide the fact the track's product, and the Kentucky horse racing and breeding industry in general, are suffering.
New Jersey lawmakers questioned the research behind a report on gaming and racing in the state Sept. 29 and suggested it left too many unanswered questions, particularly in regard to options for the horse racing industry.
Delaware Park has received mostly favorable feedback on its ontrack exacta bonus experiment, but its potential may be hard to gauge until it has a chance to grow.
Nine years after first being approved, the last major hurdle for the Aqueduct video lottery terminal casino project was cleared Sept. 13 when the state's chief fiscal watchdog gave his approval for the project.
A second "summit meeting" on horse racing and gaming was held in New Jersey Sept. 10.
Kentucky Senate President David Williams and Richie Farmer, the state's commissioner of agriculture, announced Sept. 1 their bid for governor and lieutenant governor, respectively, on a 2011 Republican ticket.
Participants in The Jockey Club Round Table Aug. 22 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., sought to convey optimism and opportunity in the face of declines in many facets of the Thoroughbred industry.
A recent poll indicates support for horse racing and racetrack gaming in New Jersey.
Total racing dates would continue to drop under 2011 requests submitted by Ohio's seven racetracks Aug. 19.
Though legislation to authorize electronic gaming continues to stall in Minnesota, Canterbury Park officials remain optimistic in the wake of a fairly stable second-quarter earnings report.
It has taken three governors four different tries, but Gov. David Paterson and legislative leaders made it official Aug. 17: Genting New York will be the operator of the Aqueduct video lottery terminal casino.
Remington Park in Oklahoma has a new owner and a new look for its 2010 Thoroughbred meet, which begins Aug. 19. More than $12 million will be spent on renovations, officials said.
Family Foundation of Kentucky may join a suit seeking a declaratory judgment on the legality of Instant Racing in an attempt to keep open its options.
For the first time in recent memory, the minimum purse at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort has fallen under $8,000 because of a purse reduction.
New York Gov. David Paterson is turning up the heat on legislative leaders, prodding them to make a quick decision on the new operator to run the Aqueduct video lottery terminal casino.
MTR Gaming Group indicated Aug. 9 it could spend up to $100 million to construct a video lottery terminal casino at Scioto Downs south of Columbus, Ohio.
Pari-mutuel handle on live and simulcast racing has increased at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races since casino table games were added to the mix at the West Virginia facility, officials said Aug. 4.
Churchill Downs has not decided whether to implement a form of Instant Racing should the VLT-like games be approved for Kentucky tracks, according to Churchill Downs Inc. president and CEO Robert Evans.
Genting New York, a Malaysian-based casino group, has been recommended by the New York Lottery Division to run the much-delayed Aqueduct casino project.
About 150 members of the harness racing community met at Meadowlands July 29 to discuss their options in the wake of a recent report that suggests racing at the New Jersey track is no longer viable under state ownership.
Harrah's Entertainment said July 28 it has completed its purchase of Thistledown near Cleveland, Ohio, from MI Developments.
A Kentucky judge is expediting the process by which various parties in the horse racing industry have requested a ruling on proposed administrative regulations involving Instant Racing.
After more than a year of delays, plans to outfit Ohio racetracks with thousands of video lottery terminals are on the fast track.
On the heels of a successful opening weekend at Ellis Park comes word of a few initiatives that, if they come to fruition, could generate or repurpose revenue for Kentucky racing. But will it be enough?
The Maryland Court of Appeals will hear an appeal by a citizens' group seeking to get a referendum involving slot machines in Anne Arundel County on the November ballot.
Suffolk Downs, celebrating its 75th season this year, has a vision for the future, and it's tied to expansion of gambling.
Penn National Gaming Inc. said July 1 it has closed on two key deals: the purchase of Beulah Park in Ohio, and its investment in a joint venture with MI Developments in the Maryland Jockey Club.
A gaming and racing company with interests in Ohio said it believes a 2009 governor's directive for racetracks to install video lottery terminals can move ahead.
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