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SBD/Issue 182/Facilities & Venues
Kentucky Gov. Introduces Plan To Allow Video-Lottery Terminals
Published June 10, 2009
|Churchill Downs Would Have To Pay $75M
Fee For Video-Lottery Terminals Under Plan
THE PROPOSAL: In Lexington, Jack Brammer notes under Beshear's proposal, Keeneland and The Red Mile "would share a gambling facility." Beshear "anticipates that his plan would generate about" $796.7M from wagering, and about $298M of that "would go to the state's General Fund, which pays for most state programs, in its first year of operation." For the first five years of the plan, following state taxes and payments to the horse industry, Kentucky tracks "would get to keep about 59[%] of earnings, compared to an industry average in other racino states of about 51[%]." After five years, when Kentucky's tax rate rose, tracks "would get to keep" about 49%. West Virginia and Pennsylvania both "let their tracks keep only 45[%] of earnings" (LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER, 6/10).
ON THE RIGHT TRACK? A LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER editorial stated Beshear's proposal is the "right idea, but expanded gambling will never be put to rest until the people have voted on it." The economic model's "hope of success rests on keeping slots only at tracks." If Beshear's plan "should become law and survive legal challenge, it seems inevitable that in future sessions locations other than the handful of racetracks will want a piece of the action." If they "successfully press their case, racetracks would face even more competition for gambling dollars" (LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER, 6/8).
SLOT POSITION: In Baltimore, Laura Smitherman reports attorneys for Laurel Park racetrack have asked the Maryland Court of Appeals to “restore its disqualified proposal for a slots casino license, suggesting the state would be better off restarting a bidding process that has fallen short of expectations.” A slots license selection committee in February “tossed out a bid from Laurel Racing Association” because it didn’t submit a $28.5M licensing fee. Attorney Alan Rifkin: “They’ll raise more money, and they’ll protect the Preakness” (Baltimore SUN, 6/10).