Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

Ellis Park owner Ron Geary announced that he is opening up a new facility today in Henderson that will house 187 "instant racing" machines. They are just like slot machines but purportedly based on previously run horse races.  If they are anything like Kentucky Downs "instant racing" machines they have names like Yukon Wilie’s Gold Rush and work like a regular slot machine: You put your money in. You push the button. And if  three of a kind appear, then you are a winner. You are even a bigger winner if you decide not to play in the first place because the House always wins these games in the end. 

There is about a three second clip of the end of a horse race which is why they call this "instant racing." It’s worth noting that many of the horses in the races are now dead. So you ask, "when did casino gambling expansion pass the legislature?" The answer is that it hasn’t. In fact, casino expansion legislation has suffered two defeats in the last three years. The Kentucky Supreme Court is hearing a case right now that will determine the fate of Kentucky Downs.  If they rule against them, Mr. Geary’s gamble will come up snake-eyes.