Kentucky racing industry's future in doubt because of competitio - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Kentucky racing industry's future in doubt because of competition

Bob Heleringer Bob Heleringer
Alan Sawyers Alan Sawyers
Clyde Williams Clyde Williams

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - As Derby Day nears Kentucky's signature sport faces greater competition from other states that lure horses and trainers with bigger purses.

Horse tracks in states that allow casinos use gambling revenue to fund purses. Casinos are outlawed in Kentucky and tracks are turning to instant racing games and other methods to compete.

Churchill Downs previously announced it would take a bigger cut of each bet, meaning winners will get less cash at the window this year. But the plan may prove counterproductive, said Bob Heleringer, executive director with the Kentucky Equine Education Project, which advocates for the horse industry.

"When you raise the takeout, you drive off bettors. There's no question about it," Heleringer said. "It's going to be interesting to see how that works out this year."

Bettors can use the Internet to place bets at other tracks instead of facing the higher takeout at Churchill Downs, Heleringer said.

He also called instant racing games at other tracks a "Band-Aid," and said the long-term solution would come if Kentucky lawmakers and voters allowed casinos at race tracks.

"The longer we go not having this opportunity to compete, the harder it gets," Heleringer said.

The effort to legalize casinos stalled this year at the state Capitol, where a bill never even got a vote in committee. The House and Senate remained locked in a stalemate over who would make the first move on the controversial issue.

The Family Foundation and others have argued that casinos lead to addiction and would hurt Kentucky families. It's better that they're in other states, casino opponents have said.

Racing fans at Churchill Downs on Wednesday said they supported expanded gambling and didn't want the track taking a bigger cut of their bets.

"I don't like it," said Alan Sawyers, who made $200 off a bet Wednesday. "It's not really (a big deal) for me, but I don't win that much."

Others, who were excited that another racing season was underway, said they hoped one of Kentucky's signature industry would remain strong.

"The bottom line is, it's awesome," Clyde Williams said. "The state of Kentucky, Churchill Downs, this time of year -- it's awesome."

Copyright 2014 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Senators considering a delay for VA confirmation hearing

    Senators considering a delay for VA confirmation hearing

    Monday, April 23 2018 11:35 PM EDT2018-04-24 03:35:40 GMT
    Tuesday, April 24 2018 1:06 AM EDT2018-04-24 05:06:34 GMT
    (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File). FILE - In this Jan. 16, 2018, file photo, White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson speaks to reporters during the daily press briefing in the Brady press briefing room at the White House, in Washington. Now it’s Was...(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File). FILE - In this Jan. 16, 2018, file photo, White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson speaks to reporters during the daily press briefing in the Brady press briefing room at the White House, in Washington. Now it’s Was...

    Senators discussing plans to delay the confirmation hearing for President Donald Trump's pick to be Veteran Affairs secretary over growing questions about the nominee's ability to manage the government's...

    More >>

    Senators discussing plans to delay the confirmation hearing for President Donald Trump's pick to be Veteran Affairs secretary over growing questions about the nominee's ability to manage the government's second-largest department.

    More >>
  • Pompeo nomination narrowly clears panel, goes to full Senate

    Pompeo nomination narrowly clears panel, goes to full Senate

    Monday, April 23 2018 1:05 AM EDT2018-04-23 05:05:19 GMT
    Tuesday, April 24 2018 12:57 AM EDT2018-04-24 04:57:54 GMT
    (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File). In this April 12, 2018, photo, Secretary of State-designate Mike Pompeo speaks during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on his confirmation on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Trump’s nominee for secreta...(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File). In this April 12, 2018, photo, Secretary of State-designate Mike Pompeo speaks during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on his confirmation on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Trump’s nominee for secreta...
    Trump's nominee for secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, is facing serious opposition before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which may not have enough votes to recommend his confirmation.More >>
    Trump's nominee for secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, is facing serious opposition before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which may not have enough votes to recommend his confirmation.More >>
  • Attorney: California police shot unarmed black man 10 times

    Attorney: California police shot unarmed black man 10 times

    Monday, April 23 2018 10:15 PM EDT2018-04-24 02:15:47 GMT
    Tuesday, April 24 2018 12:50 AM EDT2018-04-24 04:50:42 GMT
    (James Quigg/The Daily Press via AP). Lee Merritt, center, leads a news conference, Monday, April 23 2018, in San Bernardino, Calif., announcing a series of lawsuits against the Barstow Police Department regarding the shooting death of Diante "Butchie"...(James Quigg/The Daily Press via AP). Lee Merritt, center, leads a news conference, Monday, April 23 2018, in San Bernardino, Calif., announcing a series of lawsuits against the Barstow Police Department regarding the shooting death of Diante "Butchie"...

    Lawyers for the family of a black man killed by police in a busy Southern California parking lot say an autopsy found he was shot 10 times and died from choking on his own blood as police delayed getting him medical help.

    More >>

    Lawyers for the family of a black man killed by police in a busy Southern California parking lot say an autopsy found he was shot 10 times and died from choking on his own blood as police delayed getting him medical help.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly