New York state officials said talks are under way to permit construction to proceed on a casino at Aqueduct, and a crack has opened to possibly permit more video lottery terminals in the state. Additionally, there is a plan by the state to provide more public assistance to keep the New York Racing Association afloat through 2007.
Kentucky Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Beshear said Jan. 16 he supports a plan for casino gambling that could generate hundreds of millions in tax revenue to help fund education and road construction.
Citing concerns over crowded conditions in the grandstand because of an influx of slot-machine players, Philadelphia Park Racetrack & Casino announced Jan. 2 it would move first post time back 20 minutes and drop races from its weekend cards.
The Jockeys' Guild has asked the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to consider the catastrophic on-track accident insurance policy at Philadelphia Park before it grants the racetrack a permanent license to operate slot machines.
With Philadelphia Park about ready to open its slot-machine parlor, gaming at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, located in a much smaller market, has exceeded expectations after the first two weeks of operation.
Ohio racing interests, stung by the failure of a Nov. 7 referendum that would have allowed video lottery terminals at the state's seven tracks, didn't rule out another attempt and said there could be legislative assistance for the industry in the interim.
For the third time in 16 years, Ohioans soundly rejected the expansion of gambling in Ohio, this time routing a racetrack-backed proposal to put video lottery terminals at seven tracks and two non-track locations in Cleveland.
Expanded gambling in Kentucky isn't a front-burner topic right now, but it will be next year when the state holds elections for governor and other top posts, a racetrack official said Nov. 3 during the "Thoroughbred Industry Forum" at Churchill Downs on the eve of the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
Thoroughbred racing returns to Delta Downs Racetrack & Casino in Vinton, La., Nov. 1 after a 19- month hiatus brought on by Hurricane Rita. The 88-night season, which runs through March 31, 2007, offers a 39-race stakes schedule worth more than $4 million.
Tax relief for the horse industry, not racetrack gaming, will be the focus of the Kentucky Equine Education Project during the 2007 General Assembly session, according to the chairman of the organization.
Pennsylvania gambling regulators are expected to give the state's racetracks the go-ahead Sept. 27 to plug in thousands of slot machines, the biggest step in two years toward making Pennsylvania one of the nation's busiest gambling markets.
A referendum to allow video lottery terminals at seven racetracks and two stand-alone casinos in Ohio will be on the November ballot because supporters of the measure have obtained the required number of certified signatures.
New York's top fiscal officer has warned a state agency that its delay in approving a video lottery terminal casino contract for Aqueduct is costing the state needed revenue and risking bankruptcy for the New York Racing Association.
Bally Technologies has signed a contract with Magna Entertainment Corp. to provide a complete slot-machine accounting, casino management, and bonusing solution, and a wide variety of gaming devices, at Gulfstream Park.
Finger Lakes Gaming & Racing will add almost 200 video lottery terminals as part of a $4-million expansion, but a top official with owner Delaware North indicated major racing-related projects, such as installation of a turf course and perhaps a synthetic surface, are closely linked to the VLT revenue model in New York.
With ongoing declines in Thoroughbred breeding and racing in Ohio, and a possible November referendum for racetrack gaming in the state, organizers of this year's Midwest Regional sale said the industry has reached a "pivotal" point.
Magna Entertainment Corp. chairman Frank Stronach indicated his company hopes to be involved in New York racing on some level, and that it also is working with Churchill Downs Inc. on projects that will benefit the two companies and the industry at large.
Magna Entertainment Corp. reported a slightly smaller net loss for the second quarter of 2006 compared with the same period last year, but indicated a working-capital deficiency of almost $140 million remains a problem.
A racetrack at which all revenue after expenses would go toward the racing product remains in the works and in the running for a license in Pennsylvania, but the individual spearheading the project said it remains to be seen whether it would be a Thoroughbred track without slot machines, or a dual-breed facility with slots.
Amid the sound of hammers and drills as Philadelphia Park readies the first two floors of its grandstand in anticipation of slot machines later this year, the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association celebrated "Pennsylvania's Day at the Races" July 29.