Horse Racing Commission has become a power unto itself

Posted on September 15th, 2017

September 15, 2017
Contact: Martin Cothran
Phone: (859)329-1919

LEXINGTON, KY – The Family Foundation today charged that the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission’s role as a legitimate regulating body is in jeopardy following the announcement by Keeneland and Churchill Downs that they are planning two new gambling facilities for horse racing and to house historical racing gambling machines.

“Where is the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission?” asked Martin Cothran, a spokesman for the group. “Why is a state agency that is supposed to be regulating the racing industry allowing tracks to implement games that will likely be struck down as unconstitutional gambling by the courts?”

The Family Foundation is currently involved in litigation with the Commission and the state’s horse racing tracks over the legality of “historical racing” machines, which The Foundation maintains are most closely related to slot machines. In late August it pointed out that if the Commission and the tracks have their way in court, all forms of gambling could be legalized in the state because the expansive definition of pari-mutuel gambling these groups are arguing for would necessarily include even casino-type games, a fact its own witnesses have admitted in pre-trial discovery.

“The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has become a power unto itself,” said Cothran. “It is operating outside the authority of the Governor and the State Legislature.” Cothran charged that the Horse Racing Commission, which is supposed to be regulating the racing industry, is not only a “rubber stamp” for racing and gambling interests, but is unilaterally making policy decisions outside the regular democratic process.


Comments are closed.

P.O. Box 911111 Lexington, KY 40591 859-255-5400