On the same day it reported a third-quarter loss of $34.5 million, Magna Entertainment Corp. announced it entered into a deal to sell its Pennsylvania operation--The Meadows harness track and a ring of off-track betting parlors in the western part of the state--to Millennium Gaming and Oaktree Capital Management for $225 million.
A proposal by Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan to ban riverboat gambling in Illinois has been dry-docked in the state Senate.
The Massachusetts horse racing industry is taking a day off Sept. 28 to show its support during a hearing in the state House of Representatives on legislation that could impact the industry.
Zia Park will kick off its inaugural 44-day season Friday with an 11-race card of Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred racing, with the opening day program highlighted by the $50,000 Premier Stakes for Thoroughbreds at six furlongs.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project announced its support Sept. 16 for a referendum to amend the state constitution to allow for casino gambling at licensed racetracks. But details of the plan won't be in the form of legislation until Jan. 1, 2006, and officials admitted the final document will be subject to revision.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project will unveil what it calls a "bold legislative initiative aimed at increasing the state's revenue for critical services without a broad-based tax increase" Sept. 16 on the steps of the State Capitol in Frankfort.
With a fall awareness campaign and the 2006 General Assembly session looming, the board of directors of the Kentucky Equine Education Project voted Sept. 7 on its ultimate position on expanded gambling in the state.
An Aug. 26 presentation on the status of the Kentucky lottery and a scholarship fund that derives money from it led to a call for more funding, even if it means legislators would have to approve expanded gambling to generate the revenue.
The Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission officially gave the go-ahead for gaming Aug. 11 at two of the racetracks in the state, Remington Park in Oklahoma City and Blue Ribbon Downs in Sallisaw.
Magna Entertainment Corp. expects to have partners lined up for some of its pending racetrack gaming operations before the end of this year, and hopes to have a presence in Nevada, where account wagering could be offered in the future.
The latest condition book at Mountaineer Race Track and Gaming Resort reflects a 20% reduction in purses primarily brought about by the shift of some video lottery terminal revenue to the state to fix its workers' compensation system.
Magna Entertainment Corp. has agreed to sell Flamboro Downs, a Standardbred racino in Ontario, Canada, to Great Canadian Gaming Corp., a casino company that continues to add racetracks to its portfolio.
Regulation of slot machines in Broward County, Fla. may be headed to the appellate court following a lower court ruling favorable to pari-mutuel operators.
Should the Kentucky horse racing industry push for casino gambling during the 2006 General Assembly session, it apparently won't have the support of Democratic Rep. Larry Clark.
Oklahoma may be less than two weeks away from having its first racetrack casino operation licensed, and a June 16 meeting should chart the course of on-track electronic gaming in the state.
The regular session of the Texas legislature concluded without tossing so much as a crumb toward horse racing, but the state's racing industry remains hopeful lawmakers could soon consider video lottery terminals for racetracks.
Speculation that a revenue sharing agreement could result in California between racetracks and tribal casinos over slot machines increased this week after a lawsuit on behalf of five tracks filed last year against Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was dropped May 25.
A last-ditch attempt to get video lottery terminals included in legislation that would reorganize the Texas Lottery Commission was unsuccessful May 26. With the Texas legislative session coming to an end, the VLT plan will have to wait for a special session or the 2007 legislative session.
The failure of the Florida legislature to create regulations for slot machines at pari-mutuel facilities in Broward County may force the issue into court.
The projected cost of building the long-planned video lottery terminal casino at Aqueduct has soared nearly 20% since it was first proposed several years ago, New York Racing Association officials said.
The Maryland Racing Commission, which seldom delves openly into politics, has expressed its disappointment with the state legislature for failing to help the racing industry in the recently concluded legislative session.
Reconstruction of the pari-mutuel industry's tote infrastructure is ready to begin, but the project may not be completed for two to three years, Churchill Downs Inc. president Tom Meeker said.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project, formed about a year ago and already with a legislative feather in its cap, seems poised to push for alternative gaming in 2006 but its board of directors must be united in the course of action, the organization's chairman said.
New York's highest court upheld as legal the spread of video lottery terminals to racetracks in a ruling issued May 3, a major victory for the state's racing industry.
The Florida House voted May 2 to limit Broward County pari-mutuel facilities to bingo-based gambling machines rather than traditional slot machines and to take 55% of the revenue in taxes. The Senate, meanwhile, wants regular slot machines and a much lower tax rate.
Magna Entertainment Corp., which registered a $25-million decline in net income in the last year, expects to post a net loss for 2005 but is banking on profitability--and operation of slot machines in three states--by the end of 2007.
Delaware Park, which was the early proving ground last season for four probable contenders in the May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I)--Afleet Alex, Bellamy Road, Closing Argument, and High Limit--will offer its first $1-million race during a 135-day meet that kicked off April 30.
Penn National Gaming Inc. reported an increase in net revenue for the first quarter of 2005 compared with the comparable period in 2004, but also showed a $2-million loss in net income.
Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher reiterated his view of horse racing and breeding in the state April 21 and acknowledged the challenges, including in-state and out-of-state competition from other forms of gambling.
Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino, which just opened April 7 for the first Thoroughbred meet at its new location in Opelousas, La., has raised purses 10% across the board effective April 29.
Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack will kick off its 161-day meet April 15 with a stakes schedule and overnight purses comparable with those of last year.
The New Orleans Planning Commission has postponed for a month a decision on a proposal by Churchill Downs Inc. to install up to 700 slot machines at Fair Grounds.
The New Orleans City Council is seeking a declaratory judgment on whether installation of slot machines at Fair Grounds would violate the city charter.
The Louisiana horse racing industry continued its forward movement the evening of April 7 when the 7-year-old gelding Attakapa, appropriately bred in Louisiana, won the first Thoroughbred race at the new Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino.
Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino, the first racino built from scratch, will kick off its first Thoroughbred meet April 7 with record overnight purse distribution and an expanded stakes schedule.
The New York legislature has given final approval to a measure to increase the share of video lottery terminal revenue for racetracks, as well as jump-start the long-stalled VLT casinos at Aqueduct and Yonkers Raceway.
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, after long opposition, has opened the door to the expansion of gaming. But his education-funding proposal doesn't specifically include the new casinos and support for racetracks that would make it politically viable in the state House and Senate.
Plans for a racino at Canterbury Park continued to progress through the Minnesota legislature when the House Committee on Regulated Industries approved a bill March 29 and sent it to the House Committee on Taxes.
The Republican-led Senate and Democratic-run Assembly in New York have introduced legislation to sweeten the pot for racetracks with video lottery terminals, though the measure restricts the amount of extra money that would go to Aqueduct and Yonkers Raceway compared to other tracks.
With handle in January down about 9% from the same period in 2004, Philadelphia Park said its year-to-date purse overpayment has reached $1.9 million because of a commitment to boost purses while it waits to install slot machines. Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association finished 2004 in the black, but not without some adjustments.
West Virginia's four racetracks moved a stepped closer to becoming full-scale casinos March 28 when the state Senate approved legislation to legalize table games at the facilities.
As the Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino prepares for its first Thoroughbred meet at its new facility, the track reported positive numbers for a 20-night Quarter Horse meet that concluded March 27.
Lawmakers in New York have agreed to repair a state law that has kept Aqueduct and Yonkers Raceway from opening their video lottery terminal casinos in a deal that will bring the state up to $1 billion in revenue each year.
Gambling interests have agreed to poll Ohio voters on the issues of casinos and video lottery terminals at racetracks in the state. The decision came during a March 24 meeting loosely dubbed the Ohio Gaming Summit.
Legislation endorsed by the West Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee would allow casino-style table games at the four racetracks in the state, but the panel also doubled the state tax on the games from 12% to 24%.
Officials in New Orleans are studying whether slot machines at Fair Grounds would conflict with a restriction in the city charter that limits gambling to a downtown casino.
Seeking to prod along negotiations, the New York Senate approved two bills March 17 designed to open long-stalled video lottery terminal casinos at Aqueduct and Yonkers Raceway, believed to be New York's most lucrative racetracks for gaming.
Churchill Downs Inc. officials discussed the company's financial picture, alternative gaming initiatives, and the industry's tote system during a March 17 teleconference but shed little light on their intentions for Hollywood Park, the Southern California racetrack that is the subject of sale rumors.
Delta Downs Racetrack & Casino recently unveiled its 10-story hotel as part of the finishing touches of a $60-million expansion project. Another project at the Vinton, La., racetrack--conversion of the racing surface to one mile and addition of a turf course--remains on the drawing board but faces some challenges.
Calder Race Course and Gulfstream Park are just eight miles away, both straddling the Miami-Dade/Broward County line in South Florida. But following the results of the March 8 municipal elections, the tracks may soon be entirely different.
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