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New York Legislators Push VLT Budget Measure

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.

Horsemen, Breeders Buy Time, Wait for Slots

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.

New York Lawmakers Said to Have VLT Deal

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.

Ohio Gaming Supporters Want Statewide Poll

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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.

New York VLT Bills Approved by Senate

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.

CDI: No Hollywood Comment Pending Deliberations

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 Continues on Expansion Track

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.

In South Florida, a Tale of Two Tracks

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.

Tribe Seeks to Reopen Santa Fe Racetrack

The Pojoaque Pueblo tribe has filed an application with the New Mexico Racing Commission to reopen The Downs at Santa Fe, which would become the sixth racetrack in the state. The tribe wants to begin live racing in 2007 and also hopes to install slot machines.

KEEP to Vote on Gaming When Time is Right

The Kentucky Equine Education Project's position on racetrack gaming will hinge on whether its board of directors believes such a pursuit is in the best interest of Kentucky residents, a KEEP official said Feb. 5 during a meeting with members of the media at Turfway Park.

Maryland Industry Issues Plan to Revitalize Racing

The Maryland racing industry has signed off on a plan to revitalize the sport should legislators approve alternative gaming. Though efforts to win approval for racetrack slot machines have stalled in recent years, a key legislator said the plan represents progress.

Oklahoma Regulators Preparing Gaming Rules

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Gaming at Oklahoma racetracks is closer to reality, Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission officials said Jan. 27 during their monthly meeting. Rules that would govern alternative gaming will be formulated in a month, they said.

Indiana Legislator Wants Unity on Racino Issue

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Two proposals calling for pull-tab machines at Hoosier Park and Indiana Downs received their first hearing Jan. 26, but after three hours of debate in the House Public Policy and Veterans Affairs Committee, one thing was clear: Legislation to authorize the machines could meet an early fate.

West Virginia Purses Would Help Pay Comp Debt

Representatives of horsemen's groups are working in the West Virginia capital of Charleston to fend off an effort by Gov. Joe Manchin to take $5 million from purse accounts at each of the state's four racetracks to help pay off a $3-billion debt in the state workers' compensation program.

Evangeline Slots: $12M for Horsemen in 2004

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Slot machines at the new Evangeline Downs in Opelousas, La., pulled in nearly $72 million in gross revenue and generated more than $12 million for purses and breed development in their first year of operation, according to statistics from the Louisiana Gaming Control Board.

Handful of Tracks, Bonus Fuel Purse Increase

Total Thoroughbred purses increased 3.42%--mostly from a limited number of sources--in 2004, while total handle on Thoroughbred races run in the United States declined less than 1%, according to a year-end "Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators" report released Jan. 12.

KEEP OKs Marketing Plan, Hires Lobbying Firm

The Kentucky Equine Education Project officially approved plans for a marketing and education blitz for the Bluegrass state this year, and also hired a high-powered lobbying firm to help it achieve its legislative goals.

Michigan Racing Commissioner to Leave Post

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Michigan Racing Commissioner Robert Geake said he would leave his post when his term expires at the end of December, and that he hopes to make the long-awaited decision on granting a suburban Detroit racetrack license before he goes.

Will Maryland Track Sale Facilitate Slots?

The family of Baltimore Orioles majority owner Peter Angelos signed an agreement Nov. 20 to buy Rosecroft Raceway, a struggling harness track in southern Maryland just outside of Washington, D.C. The deal, if approved by the Maryland Racing Commission, would likely enhance the chances of slot machines being authorized in the state.

Once Again, Ohio Racetrack VLT Push Looms

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A supporter of video lottery terminals at Ohio's seven racetracks said Nov. 8 there is an "excellent chance" the proposal would go before Ohio voters in a November 2005 referendum.

Absentees Push Florida Slots Vote Over Top

With vote totals changing minute by minute Nov. 4, a constitutional amendment that would allow voters in Broward and Miami-Dade counties in Florida to vote on racetrack slot machines headed into the win column.

In Washington, Numbers Made Slots Bad Bet

Voters in Washington state rejected an initiative that would have allowed the expansion of electronic slot machines--only permitted in tribal casinos--to other locations, including Emerald Downs. But a top track official said it's the best thing that could have happened.

Ohio Panel to Probe Illegal Video Gambling Devices

The Ohio State Racing Commission has opened its own investigation into a state Department of Public Safety report that video gambling machines were operating in a bar on property that includes the Cedar Downs off-track betting parlor in the northwest portion of the state.

Tribe Has Deal to Buy Track From Penn National

The Downs at Pocono, a Standardbred facility that held Thoroughbred meets in the 1970s, could become the first Pennsylvania racetrack owned by an Indian tribe should regulators approve a $280-million deal between Penn National Gaming Inc. and the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority.

Without Slots, Maryland Horsemen Look Elsewhere

As one last-gasp effort to legalize slot machines in Maryland this year failed because of political warfare, horsemen and breeders in the state have begun what many said was inevitable as long as slots remained forbidden: the exodus of horses, horsemen, and horse farms.

KEEP Board to Ultimately Decide Gaming Position

The Kentucky Equine Education Project, which is yet to devise a legislative agenda, will let its still-evolving board of directors decide whether alternative gaming will be on its wish list, a representative said Sept. 8 during a meeting of the state Interim Joint Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Evangeline Holds Own, Prepares for Big Move

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Evangeline Downs reported a gain in total handle but expected decreases in on-track business given the fact live racing and its slot-machine operation weren't located at the same site during its 2004 meet that ended Sept. 6.

Philly Park Prepares to Enter the Big Time

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Purses for July at Philadelphia Park averaged just under $120,000 a day, but in a year, they will be almost twice that amount, with much more growth expected when revenue from slot machines begins pouring in.

Magna Back in Hunt for Pennsylvania Track License

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The Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission has finalized at five the number of applicants seeking the final Thoroughbred racing license in the state. Only four applicants hit an informal Aug. 16 deadline to apply for the last license, but Magna Entertainment Corp. has reiterated its interest in building a track near Pittsburgh International Airport.

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