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Kentucky Instant Racing bill appears dead

March 25, 2010

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A bill that would have approved Instant Racing machines at racetracks in Kentucky is essentially dead after the senator who proposed the measure said Thursday he was no longer working on it and that only a "perfect storm" would allow it to proceed.
On Thursday, Sen. Damon Thayer was quoted on the Louisville Courier-Journal's website as saying that he believes negative comments by leaders in the state House who are in favor instead of adding video lottery terminals at the tracks hurt the bill's chances of passage. Thayer said that in turn created a perception in the state Senate that any Instant Racing Bill that might approve would then be voted down in the House.
The Instant Racing bill passed the State Local Government Committee, of which Thayer is the chairman, by a vote of 11-1. There was also opposition from anti-gambling groups that claimed the machines are expanded gaming and not a form of pari-mutuel wagering. Instant Racing, where players wager on a slot-like machine that uses random videos of previously-run races, is pari-mutuel, according to Thayer and Kentucky's attorney general.
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