Governor Andy Beshear

Keeneland To Construct New Paddock Building, Enhancements To Saddling Paddock

Officials at Keeneland have announced plans for major capital investments at the historic Lexington oval, including the constuction of a permanent Paddock Building and a reimagined saddling experience. The project, which is expected to cost $93 million, is the largest undertaking of its variety since Keeneland opened 90 years ago and marks the first major construction at the track since the construction of the Keeneland Library in 2002. Construction is scheduled to begin following the 2024 Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale and is expected to be completed by...

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CDI To Open Six Race And Sports Books At Kentucky Properties Sept. 7

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) has approved temporary licenses for six Churchill Downs Inc. (CDI) properties to begin accepting in-person sports wagers on Thursday, Sept. 7, the company said via a release Wednesday morning. CDI will operate Race and Sports Books at its racetracks and Historical Racing Machine (HRM) facilities in Kentucky which include: Churchill Downs Racetrack: 15 sports betting kiosks, 168 sq. ft. video screen, 20 large format televisions; Derby City Gaming & Hotel: 15 sports betting kiosks, 300 sq. ft. video screen, 12 large format televisions; Ellis...

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Sports Wagering Licenses Approved in Kentucky

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) voted to approve temporary licenses for sports wagering operators and service providers, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced Tuesday. A temporary license grants up to one year of operation in the state while under continued review. With the approval of these licenses, Kentucky bettors now know the retail facilities where they can place a sports wager and which mobile applications will be licensed in the state. "The countdown continues as we move closer to sports wagering with retail locations opening in just 16 days," said...

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Frank L. Jones, Jr. Succumbs to Long Illness

Frank L. Jones, Jr., a prominent owner, breeder, and servant to the horse industry through decades of work on the boards of several Thoroughbred organizations, passed away Thursday, Aug. 10 after a long illness. The Louisville businessman was 87. In addition to other roles, Jones spent more than 30 years as the owners' vice president of the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA), where he was instrumental in negotiating contracts for owners and trainers with racetracks. He was also chair of the Kentucky HBPA's finance committee and a legislative...

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After “Spreading Like Rabbits,” The Plug Has Been Pulled On Gray Games In Kentucky

They first showed up in Kentucky in 2021. Called gray games, they looked and acted like a slot machines, but the companies that manufactured the machines made the spurious claim that they were legal because they were actually games of skill. Before long, the machines grew to be so popular that, by some estimates, there were more than 5,000 of them, taking up residence in bars, restaurants and convenience stores across the state. "They spread like rabbits," said Majority Floor Leader Senator Damon Thayer of the games that got their...

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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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KHRC Announces KTBIF Totals for 2022

The 2022 Kentucky Thoroughbred Breeders' Incentive Funds (KTBIF) have been released, totaling $17.4 million. Nine out of the top 10 earners in the U.S. in 2022 were Kentucky-breds and race horses from the state won 69% of all graded stakes races in the U.S. as well as 78% of all Grade I races. To qualify, the mare must remain in the state during gestation, and the final award amounts are based on the foal's eventual earnings at the racetrack. A list of the 2022 award winners, along with the amount...

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Jamie Eads Officially Named Executive Director of KHRC

Gov. Andy Beshear has appointed Jamie Eads--who served as interim executive director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) for the past six months--the executive director of the KHRC, effective Dec. 1. After graduating from the University of Kentucky with dual degrees in marketing and management, Eads worked for both the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) and the Breeders' Cup LLC. She has been with the KHRC since 2008, when she joined the organization as the director of the Division of Incentives and Development. She then moved into the deputy...

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CDI Signs Agreement to Buy Ellis Park

Churchill Downs Incorporated announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Ellis Park Racing & Gaming in Henderson, Kentucky, from Enchantment Holdings, LLC, an affiliate of Laguna Development Corporation, for total consideration of $79 million in cash, subject to certain working capital and other purchase price adjustments. CDI will also assume Ellis Park's opportunity to construct a track extension facility in Owensboro, Kentucky. "This is an exciting announcement for the horse racing industry, the cities of Henderson and Owensboro, and the entire Commonwealth of Kentucky," said Kentucky Governor...

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Bettor-Friendly Legislation Passes Kentucky Senate

By a vote of 33-1, the Kentucky State Senate has given their stamp of approval to Kentucky House Bill 607, which modernizes the taxation of pari-mutuel wagers and, in a major victory for horseplayers, eliminates the dime breakage than has been the standard for many years in favor of penny breakage. The change in the breakage will put more money into the pockets of horseplayers and is the first such measure to be introduced in the United States. The lone dissenting vote came from Republican Senator Whitney Westerfield. "For more...

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KY Governor Signs HHR Legislation

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear signed a bill on Historical Horse Racing (Senate Bill 120) Monday, which would assure that betting on historical machines is legal. The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP), Kentucky's equine economic advocate, released the following statement in response: "We thank Governor Beshear for signing Senate Bill 120 into law, which ensures the future of our equine industry while protecting thousands of local jobs. Kentuckians and the legislators who represent them have made clear that they support historical horse racing and the many benefits it brings to our...

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Ellis Park Increases Track, Racing Protocols

Ellis Park Racing & Gaming has increased track and racing protocols in compliance with Governor Andy Beshear's order requiring facial coverings to be worn at all times in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Ellis Park has been requiring masks for all patrons since July 6--three days earlier than the official government mandate. All employees and backside personnel have been required to wear masks since the June 8 reopening of the racing and gaming operation. "Governor Beshear's actions will make it easier for us to keep our guests, our team, and the...

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