Thoroughbred trainers, owners, and breeders are scrambling to determine the future of racing at Finger Lakes after lawmakers ended their 2016 session without resolving how racing will be able to compete in the face of a new commercial casino.
One of the last acts of the New York legislature before its 2016 session ended June 18 was to send a message to one of its neighbors: New York is poised to act if New Jersey moves to build casinos near the New York border.
Talks have stalled over returning control of the New York Racing Association to private hands after a four-year period in which appointees of Gov. Andrew Cuomo have dominated the not-for-profit corporation's board of directors.
New York's top fiscal watchdog said the New York Racing Association's portrayal of its financial improvements have been artificially inflated after an audit found the not-for-profit operation has run up deficits of $109 million on the racing side.
The president of the New York THA said it's disappointing that revenue from the planned 1,000 new VLTs at Aqueduct won't produce revenue for purses and the New York Racing Association.
The head of the horsemen's group at Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack is predicting the end of racing at the upstate Thoroughbred track, after a new state government budget deal failed to protect purse levels.
Horses are back training at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort, where more than three months of down time in late fall and winter allowed time for improvements in the barn area.
The New York State Senate budget resolution for fiscal 2016-17 includes a few recommendations for protecting revenue for the horse racing industry given impending competition from full-scale casinos.
The West Virginia Senate Feb. 25 had first reading on legislation that would defund and decouple greyhound racing from gaming but maintain requirements that Thoroughbred racing receive its share of gaming revenue.
Legislation that would remove the requirement that racetracks with gaming also offer live racing has been introduced in the West Virginia Senate.
A New York lawmaker, sharply critical of the Nassau Off-Track Betting Corp. bid to try to locate a casino at Belmont Park racetrack, has introduced a measure banning casinos by either of the two Long Island-based OTBs.
Legislation that would restore video lottery terminal-generated purse funds that have been diverted to pay down a workers' compensation debt has been introduced in the West Virginia House of Delegates.
A New York Native American tribe has filed a lawsuit to block a recently approved casino that has everyone from upstate casinos to racetracks worried about losing business to the new gambling resort under construction.
Belmont Park would become home to a casino with 1,000 video lottery terminals under a plan put forward Dec. 29 by Nassau Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. But the plan is considered a longshot.
Officials at Finger Lakes in upstate New York said the facility risks closure as early as 2017 unless the state takes action to protect its finances in the wake of approval Dec. 21 of a full-blown casino about 25 miles away.
At the end of a year that saw record-breaking wagering and attendance, the board of directors of the New York Racing Association Dec. 9 celebrated success while at the same planning conservatively for the future.
An eight-acre parcel of land on the grounds of Belmont Park is no longer being offered to private developers, a move that is raising concerns in some circles that the state may be eyeing the site for a VLT casino.
The West Virginia Racing Commission Nov. 18 approved customary live racing dates, but the schedules for Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races and Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort are expected to be drastically reduced.
The early closure of Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort in West Virginia has had a positive impact on Hollywood Casino at Mahoning Valley Race Course, at least for the first six days of its 2015-16 meet.
Legislation authorizing advance deposit wagering is on the wish list for a group of racing industry stakeholders in West Virginia, according to a report that was approved by a committee.
NYRA president Christopher Kay, whose contract extension was announced Oct. 21, said the organization most likely will experience an increase in profit this year exclusive of revenue from video lottery terminals.
A New York State panel has tapped a fourth location for a full-blown casino as the state marches closer to a final set of approvals for a casino expansion.
A group of West Virginia racing stakeholders has prepared a report on the state of the industry and makes suggestions on how to improve the economics, but when it is approved remains to be seen.
The West Virginia racing industry will pursue several initiatives during the 2016 legislative session, including statutory changes that would lower the minimum number of racing dates for which tracks must apply each year.
Track president Bill Fasy said Delaware Park continues to make money, but when it comes to long-term things like capital improvements, the racetrack gaming industry in the state needs some assistance.
A Kentucky judge has denied motion to have historical race wagering machines brought to the courtroom for a demonstration. A trial has been set for next September, more than a year from now.
New York off-tracking betting corporations will be permitted to dip into their capital funds to help pay for operating expenses under legislation given recent final approval by the New York lawmakers.
This year's $500,000 Ohio Derby in retrospect can be considered a success on several levels, and management at ThistleDown Racino expects the marquee race--and the overall racing product--to only get better.
The West Virginia Racing Commission June 16 signed off on a plan by Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort to shave 50 racing programs from its 2015 schedule.
The West Virginia Racing Commission June 2 authorized creation of a committee that will be charged with providing information to a legislative committee that will study the state's racing and gaming industries.
Delaware Park will begin its 81-day race meet May 16 with racing three or four days per week through Oct. 17 and what appears to be a fairly solid horse population given local competition for racing stock.
Distributions to horse racing from the state Race Horse Development Fund increased 9.5% in 2014 from the previous year, according to the annual Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board benchmark report released April 28.
Belterra Park will open its 2015 live race meet May 1 but it will do so without a contract with the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association for video lottery terminal revenue.
A West Virginia Racing Commission purse analysis based on revenue projections from all sources indicates the state and its racetracks have serious issues to address regarding live racing dates in the future.
Their financial performances were no secret during the year, but now the final numbers for fiscal 2014 are in and, for the first time, New York racetrack-based casinos showed their first year-to-year dip in net revenue.
New York lawmakers have given final approval to an expansion of video lottery terminal games at six of the state's nine racetrack-based casinos.
A measure giving flexibility to the financial operations of the New York State Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund passed by a comfortable margin in the state Senate, as it has every year since 2010.
Legislation has been introduced in both houses of the New York legislature to require the owners of a future commercial casino to make whole any losses suffered by horsemen and breeders at nearby Finger Lakes.
Legislation for the fiscal 2016 state budget in West Virginia is calling for another reduction in video lottery terminal and table games revenue that goes to purses at Thoroughbred and Greyhound tracks.
Video lottery terminals at Aqueduct Racetrack have helped push up prices of New York-bred yearlings and increased the state's foal crop in what economic development officials say has been a far-reaching impact.
A New York casino panel has approved another round of bids for a gaming facility in the Southern Tier region of the state located near Binghamton and just across from the Pennsylvania border.
ThistleDown Racino has increased the 2015 purse for the Ohio Derby to a record high of $500,000. In addition, daily purses at the 90-year-old track will average $130,000.
Upstate New York racetrack-based casinos are stepping up efforts to stop a full-blown commercial casino from opening in the Finger Lakes region.
The governing body of Jefferson County, W.Va., where Charles Town Races is located, plans to send a message to state legislators that further reductions in the share of gaming revenue that supports racing are unacceptable.
The Maryland Jockey Club reported a decrease in pari-mutuel handle on live racing at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course in 2014, but total and average purses were up from 2013.
Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course ended its inaugural meet Dec. 30 with record total pari-mutuel handle of $1,102,566.
A request by management and horsemen at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races to reduce the number of live racing days for 2015 has renewed a discussion about the future of West Virginia Thoroughbred racing.
The Ohio Thoroughbred Racing Fund, now fully supported by revenue from racetrack video lottery terminals, will almost double to more than $5 million in 2015.
Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course held its first-ever racing program Nov. 24 before a fairly large crowd on a wild weather day in northeastern Ohio.
Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course opened its barn area and dirt racing surface for training as scheduled Nov. 10 in advance of a Nov. 24 opening day.
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