Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Senate revenue bill includes the Standardbred Development Fund

The Senate on Tuesday approved a 1.5% tax on Instant Racing wagering and includes:

"An amount equal to one percent (1%) of all money wagered on live races and historical horse races at the track for harness racing shall be deposited in the Kentucky standardbred development fund"

The House did not concur. The bill will now go to a committee with members from the House and Senate.

Read the full text by Clicking Here.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Red Mile applies for Instant Racing license; HB 445 assigned to Committee

The Daily Racing Form is reporting that the Red Mile and Keeneland have separately applied to the KHRC for licenses to operate Instant Racing machines and the applications will be discussed at the commission’s April 2 meeting.
KHHA representatives are scheduled to meet with the Red Mile Wednesday afternoon (March 19), presumably, to discuss their application process.
Meanwhile, HB 445 was assigned to the Senate Committee on Appropriations and Revenue (Click Here for a list of Committee Members). The committee "discussed" the bill Tuesday morning and the Standardbred Development Fund was not mentioned. The bill has not been scheduled for consideration. 
It is more important than ever to contact your Senator!
If you do not know who your Senator is Click Here to find out.
You may call the Toll-Free Legislative Message Line at 1-800-372-7181 to leave a message and/or e-mail your Senator by Clicking Here.

Monday, March 17, 2014


The KHHA has been working diligently to have HB 445 corrected since it was introduced in the House. Now, all KY horsemen needs to take action to have the Standardbred Development Fund included in the Instant Racing tax.

You can do this by contacting your Senator. If you don't know who your Senator is Click Here to find out.

You may call the Toll-Free Legislative Message Line at 1-800-372-7181 to leave a message and/or e-mail your Senator by Clicking Here.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

House passes Instant Racing Tax

The Kentucky House approved House Bill 445, a bill that includes a 2% instant racing wagering tax, by a 53-44 vote. The so called “revenue bill” was voted against by many due to it also increasing the gasoline tax. The bill now goes to the Senate for approval.

Most importantly for harness horsemen, the bill creates a new Section of KRS 138.510 to 138.550 that reads:

(1)       Beginning on April 1, 2014, an excise tax is imposed on all tracks conducting pari-mutuel wagering on historical horse races under the jurisdiction of the commission at a rate of two percent (2%) of all money wagered on historical horse races at the track during the fiscal year.(2)       Amounts collected pursuant to subsection (1) of this section shall be deposited as follows:
          (a)     An amount equal to three-quarters of one percent (0.75%) of all money wagered on historical horse races at the track during the fiscal year, not to exceed two million dollars ($2,000,000) in each fiscal year, shall be deposited in the Thoroughbred development fund established by KRS 230.400; and
          (b)     The remainder of the amount collected shall be deposited in the general fund.(3)       This tax shall be collected and administered as provided in Section 6 of this Act.

This new language is very similar to the current pari-mutuel tax on “live racing”, however it does not include any funding for the Standardbred Development Fund (which funds the Kentucky Sires Stakes) as the “live racing” tax currently does. The legislature estimates that the Thoroughbred Development Fund will receive $2 million as a result of the bill. Assuming this number is correct, the Standardbred Development Fund could be missing out on $2 million if changes aren’t made.

Even worse, the current House Bill would have Red Mile Instant Racing machines paying into the Thoroughbred Development Fund.

The bill is expected to make its way through the Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee who will make revisions to the bill.