Kentucky Senate Passes Historical Horse Racing Bill; Legislation Moves To House Next

The Kentucky State Senate passed the Historical Horse Racing Bill, Senate Bill 120, by a margin of 22-15 on Tuesday, Feb. 9.

The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP), Kentucky’s equine economic advocate, released the following statement:

“We applaud the Senate for voting to keep historical horse racing in Kentucky and protect important jobs and investment in communities across the commonwealth. Senator John Schickel and Senate President Robert Stivers have been instrumental in moving this legislation forward, and we thank them for their efforts. Now, we are calling on our elected officials in the House to bring SB 120 to passage so that historical horse racing can continue in the commonwealth, just as it has for the last decade.

“The future of the horse industry and Kentucky’s economy is in legislators’ hands, and real jobs and livelihoods are at risk. Tens of thousands of Kentuckians rely on the equine industry to make a living and provide for their families—many of whom have already sent messages and made calls to their legislators asking them to vote yes on this critical legislation. They are your neighbors, family members, colleagues and friends. We hope that legislators will keep these individuals in mind as they discuss SB 120 in the coming days. A vote to keep historical horse racing in Kentucky is a vote for Kentucky families and the industry that supports them.”

The bill will be heard in the House Committee on Licensing, Occupations & Administrative Regulations before heading to the House floor for a vote.

The Kentucky Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision on historical horse racing machines on Sept. 24, 2020, deeming one particular brand to not constitute pari-mutuel wagering. When the Court declined to reconsider that decision in January, both Keeneland and Red Mile temporarily shut down historical racing operations.

Senator Schickel and Senate President Stivers introduced Senate Bill 120 on Feb. 2. It defines pari-mutuel wagering to be consistent with how the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has regulated live racing for decades and historical horse racing for the last ten years. The legislation also reaffirms that only pari-mutuel wagering on simulcasts of live racing can occur at simulcast facilities. In effect, this maintains the status quo that Kentucky has known for the last decade, ensuring HHR venues can continue or resume operations.

The post Kentucky Senate Passes Historical Horse Racing Bill; Legislation Moves To House Next appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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