A task force appointed by Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear to look into the future of horse racing in the state has issued its final recommendations. The twelve-member panel says higher purses are critical to pushing the industry forward.
A ‘purse’ is the money collected by the winners of a horse race. In Kentucky, purses have suffered recently because of reduced betting and lower track attendance. But purses are swelling in other states – like Pennsylvania – where Kentucky Horse Racing Commission spokesperson Jim Carroll says they have extra gaming options like slots or video poker.
“What we’re finding is that some of those states, their purses structure is becoming stronger and stronger,” says Caroll, “and Kentucky is becoming less competitive in being able to have the best quality races.”
The task force also recommended hiring more staff for the Horse Racing Commission. The Governor will now review the recommendations.