Kentucky Track Operators Watch Ohio Voters Approve Casinos

by scrosby on November 4, 2009

Voters in Ohio yesterday approved casino gambling in four major cities. That has expanded gaming proponents in Kentucky claiming the added competition is just another reason to approve a similar measure in the Commonwealth.

Ohio voters approved casinos in Columbus, Cleveland, Toledo and Cincinnati. Just across the river from Cincinnati is Turfway Park, whose president, Bob Elliston, says it wasn’t surprising to watch the returns come in on the measure, but it is frustrating to a Kentucky horse track owner.

“Had we taken the step necessary, particularly on the Senate side, this summer, we could be in the business of constructing facilities and employing people now, rather than reacting to another state getting a leg up on us,” says Elliston.

Racetrack operators in Kentucky have said over the last few months it’s impossible to compete with other gaming options in neighboring states like Indiana that allow casinos. They claim their racing product is also affected because states with expanded gambling can infuse their racetrack purses with casino revenue.

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