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KY Industry Driving On With Instant Racing

Published: June 27, 2012 11:54 am ET

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After having suffered what appears to be a small legal blow earlier this month, the proprietors of 'Instant Racing' terminals in Kentucky are affirming their positions and are digging in for more legal ramblings, especially after a shot in the arm by Governor Steve Beshear.

A ruling by a Kentucky Court of Appeals on Friday, June 15 left Kentucky Horse Racing Commission rules regarding the legal-status of the machines in place, but overturned a lower court's determination that the machines are legal.

Instant Racing machines, which have been a successful addition to the gaming offerings at Kentucky Downs, allow the user to wager on previously-run or 'historical' races. The user is not given any information about the already-contested race before he/she places a wager on the outcome.

In light of instant racing's success at Kentucky Downs, fellow Bluegrass raceway Ellis Park, which like KD is also a thoroughbred locale, had prepared itself for its own foray into the video-racing realm.

As explained by an article on, Ellis Park's owner, Ron Geary, said after the June 15 ruling that he was uncertain whether or not to proceed with operating the terminals at his track. Given some time to process the ruling, Geary has since decided to drive on with his efforts --- verbal support from Governor Beshear has helped in his position, also.

"I am confident that the authority of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission to authorize wagering on historical horse racing will be affirmed," Beshear said in a statement.

"In the meantime, I am pleased that the status quo has been maintained so our racetracks can continue to offer these exotic wagers until the case is decided."

(With files from

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