Fox Guarding the Henhouse

By Richard Nelson

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May 9, 2019

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A recent report by State Auditor Mike Harmon found that Kentucky horse tracks  have been paying for their own video gambling regulations. Video Slots were legalized by the Horse Racing Commission in 2010 and the Horse Racing Commission is responsible for oversight  of what they call "historical horse racing" to make sure the machines run legally and accurately. However, instead of doing its job, the Commission allowed the tracks to directly pay consultants to oversee the regulation. This is like the fox guarding the henhouse. Michael Fagan, a former U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Missouri, said there's an appearance of impropriety between the tracks and the state regulators. Fagan specialized in gambling cases and said “The industry that is supposed to be regulated is buying its own regulator.”

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Director, Commonwealth Policy Center