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Downsizing Harness Racing

In Lawrence County, Indiana the end of 2016 has seen the demise of a twelve year effort to gain financing for harness track with a casino. On July 13, 2016 the Gaming Control Board turned down a casino/track application on… Read more

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Kentucky Update

Time for a look at events in the “Horse Capital of the World.”   Our struggling horse track that “needs casinos” is planning a $37 million expansion. The expansion calls for 36 additional luxury suites, 1800 more seats next to the… Read more

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Genting and South Florida

  Malaysian giant casino company has been seeking entry to Miami-Dade County since 2011.The company apparently views Miami as prime casino development territory, despite the presence of Seminole enterprises in the region. The latest move by Genting is to contract… Read more

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Ellis Park (KY) changes gambling machines

While the court sits without judgment the state of Kentucky moves on toward full blown casinos. Ellis Park has joined Kentucky Downs in switching to the Exacta System (formerly Encore) which appears even less to have anything to do with… Read more

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Keeneland Fall Breeding Stock Sale hints at future of racing

BLOG NO 116 NOVEMBER BREEDING STOCK SALE November 22, 2016   Keeneland conducted its annual breeding stock sale over a thirteen day period. Strong sales at the top end of the market could not offset declines in gross sales, average… Read more

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00 Slots in Lexington

In a rare moment of cooperation the Red Mile harness track and Keeneland, a thoroughbred track, opened a joint historical racing venue at the Red Mile which is near downtown and the University of Kentucky campus. The two tracks installed… Read more

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Keeneland Fall Yearling Sale

Eleven days ago  I covered the first two days of the Fall Yearling Sale. Today we wrap up all thirteen sessions for 2016. The sale was a mixed bag. At the top end only nine horses sold for a million… Read more

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Petition drive fails for casinos at the tracks

Secretary of State John Gale announced Thursday August 11 that a propose constitutional amendment to allow casinos at the horse tracks fell short of qualifying. Thirty-five percent of the 120,000 signatures submitted were invalid because they were not registered voters,… Read more

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High Tech Wagering

You will never guess how high-tech wagering in entering the US. Through horse-racing!!! Only New Jersey has approved it so far, although it has also passed the California and New York Legislatures, although the tracks are resisting. You can bet… Read more

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Churchill Downs continues to proper, but not with horse racing alone

Of the 64% of Americans who gambled on something this past year, only 7% gambled on horse racing. Yet Churchill Downs enjoyed a record setting second quarter with revenues of $438.5 million, up 7% over last year. By holding expenses… Read more

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Graphic Presentation or video: does it matter?

The Franklin Circuit judge ruled that a graphic representation is as good as a video and does not affect the issue before his court which is whether the gambling is pari-mutuel. In one small concession to The Family Foundation, Judge… Read more

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Fasig Tipton Crashes

After Monday’s promising Fasig-Tipton sale, the realities of the horse racing market returned with a thud. The few horses with the right pedigree and a strong physical appearance drew active bidding and good prices. The rest of the field with… Read more

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Results of the expansion of racinos

Two decades ago there were only a handful of racinos and the tracks were enjoying their best days. In the intervening years the tracks pleaded that they needed slots at the tracks to remain viable. Over the past twenty years… Read more

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Thoroughbred racing deaths

  Finally, we see a little ray of sunshine for the racing industry. The Jockey Club announced yesterday that during 2015 deaths of horses within three days of their last race had declined 14% over the previous year. The racing… Read more

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Churchill Downs Prospers

While many tracks around the country are struggling and a few are closing, Churchill Downs, Inc. continues to prosper, having net revenue of $1.2 billion for 2015. Despite having the best Derby profits ever, and a very strong Fall meet… Read more

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Racetrack Subsidies Decline

RACETRACK SUBSIDIES DECLINE In this time of tight state budgets, with several states running deficits, states are turning to the money that flows from casinos to racetracks to prop up the purses. The states are redirecting the money to other… Read more

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Keeneland January Sale ends

KEENELAND JANUARY SALE Don’t get dizzy from the spin. For a sale that saw both the mean and median prices decline, the sale was still described as “solid.” This sale lasted five days instead of last year’s four, and yet… Read more

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Balmoral Park and Maywood Park Permanently Closed

  BALMORAL PARK Among its other woes, Illinois has los two historic racetracks: Balmoral Park and Maywood Park. The tracks were not killed by the usual decline in betting and attendance, but by a $77.8 million dollar judgment against the… Read more

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Keeneland January Sale

  KEENELAND JANUARY SALE Here in the heart of horse country we are in the midst of Keeneland’s January Horses of All Ages Sale. The usual lavish coverage by the local papers is a little subdued by the Powerball craziness… Read more

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Kentucky Horse Farm Revenue

    December 24, 2015   While I could not find the exact figure for the average horse farm revenue, and even less the amount of profit, I was able to establish some figures from the 2012 Kentucky farm census… Read more

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Kentucky Racing in Disarray

Kentucky racing is going every which way, and who knows who will be the winner. The Racing Commission approved the fourth “historical racing” site at Turfway in Northern Kentucky. They plan to install 250 machines that are still not certainly… Read more

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Racing is a Funny Business

Who can understand the economics of horse racing? Everyone moans about the decline of racing: the closing of tracks, the low purses, the rising expenses, the rising cost of transportation, and even some complaints about unreasonable stud fees. Yet somebody… Read more

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Idaho Legislature Rejects Instant Racing

A former Idaho legislator, and SPG affiliate, wrote a packed little one and a half page article about the recent rejection of Instant Racing by the legislature. This action is claimed to be the biggest reaction against gambling since South… Read more

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Horse Breakdowns at the tracks

There are so many negatives for horse racing to overcome, that it is not surprising that its popularity is declining. In recent years there have been doped horses, fixed races, electronic cheating, poor purses and shabby maintenance. Nothing is worse… Read more

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First Nineteen Days of a new casino in Kentucky

The Red Mile/Keeneland joint casino at the Red Mile got off to a relatively slow start which the tracks called fast. In the first nineteen days it was open in September the facility took in $5,115,524 and returned just over… Read more

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Evolution of horseracing looks like a casino

Tom Eblen, a horse writer for the Lexington Herald-Leader, wrote an interesting article about his first visit to the new Keeneland/Red Mile Instant Racing venue. The 142 year old trotting track has undergone a $42 million dollar renovation. The cavernous… Read more

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Idaho supreme Court Ends Instant Racing

The big news last week was the rejection of Instant Racing machines in Idaho.  In a relatively complicated case the Court declared them unconstitutional. The legislature had originally passed legislation approving them for the race tracks in an attempt to… Read more

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Thumbing the nose at the Constitution

Keeneland and the Red Mile are still thumbing their noses at the Kentucky Constitution which prevents gambling on anything but pari-mutuel horse races and the Lottery. The new slots parlor, a joint venture between the two tracks, with several hundred… Read more

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Casinos Proposed Again for Kentucky

One week ago on KET’s Kentucky Tonight four congressional leaders discussed issues to come up in the next legislative session which begins in January. Among the issues discussed were funding education, retirement programs, health care and how to fund everything…. Read more

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Who is behind the push for casinos?

    Over the last two decades there have been two or three surveys that purported to show that the citizens of Kentucky are in favor of introducing casinos, usually at the tracks. When you read the comments of those… Read more

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Arrogance of Kentucky Tracks

Arrogance. Kentucky horse tracks suffer from arrogance. They flout the law, and the Constitution. The Constitution allows only pari-mutuel betting on horses and the Lottery. But we have a third form of betting outside the law. It is called historical… Read more

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Churchill sees a dark future for horseracing

Churchill Downs CEO Bill Carstanjen says it will take more than a triple-crown winner to save racing. He bemoans the fact that racing revenue was flat during the first two quarters of this year despite the most profitable Kentucky Oaks… Read more

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Judge rules on motions in the Kentucky Court Case

The case against Instant Racing is moving along very slowly while the tracks continue to operate the machines and make money. Two tracks currently have them: Kentucky Downs near the border near Nashville, TN and Ellis Park in Henderson on… Read more

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Fasig Tipton Yearling Sale is up

One of the strange features of the horse racing enterprise is that while betting handle continues to decline and an occasional track closes, the breeding industry continues at a relatively high level. This was demonstrated at the Fasig-Tipton Yearling Sale… Read more

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Florida Dog Racing

As noted in the past, dog racing is a dying gambling venue. GRA/America disputes this and says it is a growing sport. Grey2K claims it should be dying because it is cruel. I have just spent a month in Florida… Read more

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Keeneland and Red Mile expansion

Keeneland Racetrack in Lexington, Kentucky at one time was associated with elegant gambling in a gorgeous location. Now it is moving toward predatory exploitation. Keeneland is moving its simulcasting facility into a $2 million dollar section of the Red Mile’s… Read more

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Casino expansion makes no sense for citizens

Throughout Kentucky’s long and storied history coal was king in Eastern Kentucky. The government aided the industry with the “broad form deed” and liberal mineral rights laws that often destroyed the surface value for the owner to get the coal…. Read more

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Is raising horses an “industry” or a hobby?

The track spokespersons like to talk about the horse “industry.” The business is more appropriately called an agribusiness since the only product is the breeding of horses, about 80% of which are useless and shipped to Canada for dog food,… Read more

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The battle over Instant Racing in Kentucky

Opponents of expanded gambling in Kentucky have been battling Instant Racing (brand name) for over four years. On one side are the opponents including individuals, the Family Foundation of Kentucky and the Kentucky Council on Alcohol and Gambling Problems and… Read more

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Instant Racing is not pari-mutuel

Instant Racing (also called Historical Racing) is a slot-like gambling operation. In states that only allow pari-mutuel gambling the key issue is whether Instant Racing is pari-mutuel. It is not. Pari-mutuel is a type of pooled betting where bets of… Read more

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