Fall MSW Purses At Churchill ($120k), Keeneland ($100k) To Be Level With '22 Money

Both Churchill Downs ($120,000) and Keeneland Race Course ($100,000) are projecting maiden special weight (MSW) purses this autumn to be level with the money paid out at the same meets in 2022. Those figures were revealed by representatives of the two tracks Thursday during a meeting of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF) advisory committee. The Churchill MSW purses for this year's two fall meets (Sep. 14-Oct. 1 and Oct. 29-Nov. 26) have been unchanged since 2020. In 2020, Churchill offered split MSW purse values in September-$97,000 during the pandemic-rescheduled...

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New Site Plan for Turf Paradise, but Future Racing Still Hinges on Gaming Legalization

A conceptual site plan newly submitted to the city of Phoenix for the proposed industrial development at Turf Paradise calls for the closure of the track once the under-agreement sale goes forward and development begins. But the incoming owner is still floating the idea of resuming racing at the 67-year-old Thoroughbred venue in the future if historical horse race gaming gets legalized in Arizona. Audrey Jensen of the Phoenix Business Journal first reported Aug. 8 on the new details about the project, which has been named Winner's Circle Business Park....

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Judge Rules Belterra Owes Ohio HBPA $2.7M In 'Deprived' VLT Money

A money disagreement that has simmered for nearly a decade got a step closer to settlement Thursday when a federal judge ruled the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (OHBPA) is entitled to $2,769,652 in gaming revenues that the present and former owners of Belterra Park withheld between 2014 and 2018. The dispute arose from Belterra's failure to pay the OHBPA its share of net-win video lottery terminal (VLT) commission from Belterra Park. The quarrel was exacerbated when the two sides disagreed over the rate that was supposed to be...

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Beshear Signs Bill to Outlaw Gray Machines

House Bill 594, better known as the bill to ban unregulated and untaxed gaming machines known as "gray machines" in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, was signed into law Thursday, Mar. 16 by Governor Andy Beshear. Kentucky is the first state to pass stand-alone legislation banning unregulated gambling machines. For more information, see our story from last month outlining the threat of gray machines, which made them the main focus of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers' Club (KTFMC)'s monthly meeting. Visit here for information stemming from when the Bill passed the...

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Bill Banning Illegal Gray Machines Passes Senate

The Senate has passed House Bill 594, which will outlaw the unregulated and untaxed gaming machines known as "gray machines" in Kentucky. The bill passed in a 29-6 vote and now heads to Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear's desk. The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP) released the following statement Tuesday. "KEEP applauds the Kentucky General Assembly for the passage of HB 594, legislation that will ban illegal gray machines. Getting this bill across the finish line was an incredible effort and KEEP is grateful to the legislators who supported the bill...

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NY's Responsible Play Partnership to Hold Events Recognizing National Problem Gambling Awareness Month

New York State's Responsible Play Partnership (RPP), consisting of the New York State Gaming Commission, New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) and the New York Council on Problem Gambling, is holding multiple events to drive attention to the issue as part of the 20th anniversary of National Problem Gambling Awareness Month. On Mar. 10 at 11 a.m., the RPP will hold a press conference at the Javits Center with National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) Executive Director Keith Whyte to highlight the treatment and service options...

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Racing and Gaming Conference at Saratoga Set For Aug. 15-17

Online casino gaming and its relationship with sports betting will be the focus of the upcoming Racing and Gaming Conference at Saratoga (RGCS), which takes place Aug. 15-17 at the Saratoga Hilton. The session titled Online Casinos: How Will Online Gaming Legalization Across the Nation Play Out in the Next Five Years? will be moderated by Joe Weinert, Executive Vice President, Spectrum Gaming Group. The featured presenters are: Senator Joe Addabbo Jr., Chairman, Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, New York State Senate Howard Glaser, Global Head of Government Affairs and...

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CDI to Abandon Online Sports Betting

Bill Carstanjen, the chief executive officer of Churchill Downs, Inc. (CDI), said during a quarterly conference call with investors Feb. 24 that after only a brief foray into online sports betting, the gaming corporation plans to phase out operating in that sector by mid-2022. "When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the federal ban on sports betting in May of 2018, we had high hopes for the potential to build a profitable business in this space," Carstanjen said. "Our initial strategy was to leverage a variable cost technology model and be...

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Bettor Suing Baffert Leaving the Racing Game

Michael Beychok has been one of the most visible horseplayers in the sport for a while. He's a winner of the National Handicapping Championship, a horseplayer advocate and a public handicapper for the New Orleans Times-Picayune who has spent the better part of his life betting on the horses. Just not for much longer. Beychok, who is the leading figure in a class-action lawsuit filed by gamblers who say they would have made money on the 2021 GI Kentucky Derby had it not been won by Medina Spirit (Protonico), says...

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Churchill Abandons $300M On-Track Hotel Project

The gaming corporation that owns Churchill Downs Racetrack is abandoning plans to build a $300 million hotel and historical horse race (HHR) gaming facility on the first turn of the track. Instead, Churchill Downs Inc. (CDI) will focus on a three-phase expansion of its Louisville-area properties, with expected completion dates for each project dovetailing with the runnings of the next three GI Kentucky Derbies. Bill Carstanjen, CDI's chief executive officer, said during a Thursday earnings conference call that he was not at liberty to divulge details about the new projects...

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HHR Passes Ky House 55-38 After Emotional Debate

The bill to legalize historical horse race (HHR) gaming in Kentucky by defining "pari-mutuel wagering" to include previously run races passed in the House of Representatives by a 55-38 vote shortly after 8 p.m. Thursday, with seven legislators not casting votes. Capping an emotional and contentious—but always civil—floor debate that stretched over three hours Feb. 11, the most controversial bill of the 2021 Kentucky legislative session now heads to Governor Andy Beshear, who has previously indicated support for keeping HHR intact in Kentucky. The passage of SB 120 this week...

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HHR Bill With Support of Kentucky Senate President to be Filed Feb. 2

A Kentucky State Senator whose district includes Turfway Park said Thursday that he intends to file legislation and hold a hearing next week to make historical horse race (HHR) gaming legal, "maintaining the status quo" for the revenue flow that annually contributes tens of millions of dollars to purses in the state. "Next week, I will file legislation to keep historical horse racing operational in Kentucky," Senator John Schickel (R-Union) stated in a Jan. 28 press release first published by "The bill, which I am pleased to say will...

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