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 horse racing. The reason for the switch is that the machines play faster and make more money per machine, which increases the take for the track. The Horse Racing commission did not even approve the machines. The staff allowed them since they had been approved for Kentucky Downs earlier.
The Family Foundation of Kentucky has been seeking for over two years to have the machines declared illegal, but the courts have been playing volleyball with the issue sending it from court to court from Circuit Court to Appeals Court to Supreme Court and then back to Circuit Court. Meanwhile Kentucky Downs is taking in over a million a month. Transparency is apparently not an issue since the function of random number generators is not clear. If the rng plays any role in who wins, the machines are simply slot machines.
RaceTech which is owned by the Stronach Group’s Pari-Max has sued Exacta System in Wyoming claiming the machines are not pari-mutuel. The Family Foundation claims neither is pari-mutuel. Even if the courts eventually approve the machines, it will not make them pari-mutuel. In this age when something can just be renamed to make it legal, the truth seems irrelevant.
Janet Patton, “Ellis Park switching from Instant Racing games to Exacta Systems,” Lexington Herald-Leader.
December 2, 2016, p.7A.