Bill aiming to legalize historical horse racing in Kentucky passes committee

Published: Feb. 4, 2021 at 5:39 PM CST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky lawmakers are hoping to make historical horse racing legal again in the state.

Thursday, a bipartisan committee of senators passed a bill with emergency protections for the industry after the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled the gaming machines illegal last year.

The bill is Senate Bill 120 and it aims to make legal a form of gaming that uses a slot-like machine at some tracks. The Red Mile closed off these machines after the Supreme Court ruled that they were not legal.

The bottom line is that pari-mutuel racing is legal in Kentucky, but casino gambling is not.

SB 120, filed by Sen. John Schickel, R-Union, and backed by some Republicans and some Democrats, would clear up some language in hopes of making the gaming legal.

If passed, the bill would amend state law to define licensed premises, amend the definition of a track and amend state law to restrict wagering at simulcast facilities.

Proponents say the historical horse racing machines add $2 billion to the horse racing industry.

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