On March 13th, 2009, consultants for the state of Kentucky’s racing tracks told House members that video slots terminals could earn as much as $937.8 million in total revenues during their first year if allowed for the state’s racing tracks. The market study from the Innovation Group was presented to the members of the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee, which held a hearing but did not decide on House Speaker Greg Stumbo’s proposal to allow slot machine like gaming terminals at racing tracks.
The slots proposal appears in limbo with days left in the house session, but it could come up again in a special session this year that could be called to solve the state’s budget shortfall. House Speaker Stumbo said that he wanted a hearing on the proposal to educate the members of the committee. The study assumed that the final state racing track license would be given in southeastern Kentucky, for a total of eight slots facility with the two Lexington racing tracks sharing one slots license.
The Innovative study, which was completed late last year, assumed that slots parlors would open late next year in an economic environment that would have recovered by then. The proposal would tax slots revenues at 28% for the first 5 years. Racing tracks would have to pay big licensing fees-$125 million for Florence’s Turfway Park, which would be the only slots facility in Northern Kentucky, $100 million for Churchill Downs and $25 million for Thunder Ridge in Prestonsburg.