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Texas Industry Still Hoping for Gaming Vote

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.

Calif. Track Slot Revenue Speculation On Rise

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.

Texas VLT Push Stonewalled at Last Minute

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.

Cost of Aqueduct VLT Parlor Jumps to $170M

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.

Maryland Regulators Call for Legislative Help

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.

KEEP Works on Gaming Strategy; Could Shift Staff

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.

Florida Lawmakers Differ on Slots, Tax Rate

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.

MEC Banks on Profitability--and Slots--by 2007

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.

Planning Board Postpones Fair Grounds Vote

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.

Old Gives Way to New at Evangeline Downs

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.

New York Lawmakers Approve VLT Changes

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 Governor Floats Idea of Gaming Expansion

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.

New York Legislators Push VLT Budget Measure

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

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.

West Virginia Table-Games Bill Altered

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%.

New York VLT Bills Approved by Senate

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

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

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.

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