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Kentucky House passes bill aiming to legalize historical horse racing machines

Senate Bill 120 now awaits Gov. Beshear to sign into law
Published: Feb. 11, 2021 at 11:48 PM CST
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KENTUCKY (WFIE) - After nearly three hours of discussion Thursday, the Kentucky House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 120, which aims to legalize historical horse racing machines across the commonwealth.

The final vote was 55-38.

[Previous: Henderson Co. Judge-Executive to present to a Kentucky House committee about Ellis Park]

The bill passed in the State Senate on Tuesday.

This comes after the Kentucky Supreme Court deemed the machines illegal weeks ago. Ellis Park officials told 14 News that without the HHR machines, the track would not be able to stay open.

Horse industry leaders from Churchill Downs Incorporated, Keeneland, Ellis Entertainment LLC, Red Mile Racetrack and Kentucky Downs released the following statement in regard to the bill passing on Thursday.

On behalf of our team members, our horsemen and all of the citizens of the Commonwealth who earn their pay checks directly or indirectly from the horse industry, we applaud the Kentucky House of Representatives for the passage today of SB 120. The future of the Commonwealth’s signature industry and those who support it is secure.

We had extensive discussions with Governor Beshear and given his longstanding and unwavering support of the horse industry, we anticipate that he will sign SB 120 into law.

We express our profound gratitude to bill sponsor Senator Schickel, President Stivers and Minority Leader McGarvey of the Kentucky Senate and Speaker Osbourne and Minority Leader Jenkins of the Kentucky House of Representatives for their leadership in securing SB 120′s passage in the General Assembly.

On behalf of the Commonwealth’s race tracks, we also confirm and reiterate our discussions with Governor Beshear, Minority Leader McGarvey and Minority Leader Jenkins that we will work constructively to revise and raise the tax structure on historical racing machines, including consideration of a fair and equitable graduated tax structure. We look forward to those discussions in the near term and confirm our commitment to the Commonwealth to build on our tax and job base through sound capital investments and good corporate citizenship.

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