Remarks by Kent Ostrander, Executive Director of The Family Foundation (September 9, 2019):
FRANKFORT, KY – We have begun our tenth year in this court case by filing our Appellate Brief before the Kentucky Supreme Court. This case has national ramifications because numerous other states are wrestling with or considering Historical Horse Racing. Kentucky is the Horse Capital of the World so the outcome of this case, in Kentucky, will affect millions of people and billions of dollars.
History: After Gov. Steve Beshear failed to expand gambling via the General Assembly for three straight years (in 2008, 2009 and 2010), he dropped his promise to “let the people decide” through Constitutional Amendment, he skirted the Legislative Branch of government entirely, and he asked his Horse Racing Commission to petition the judicial system to authorize expanded gambling.
The Horse Racing Commission then formed a “common interest” with the eight race tracks that it is supposed to regulate, and they together filed an “Agreed Case,” asking the court to simply declare that these newly-invented Historical Horse Racing machines were indeed pari-mutuel wagering on horse races and would comply with Kentucky law.
We petitioned to enter the case because we were concerned with the corruption that so often accompanies the gambling industry. Now, after nine years in the court process, and after numerous “irregularities” in that process, we are before the state’s Highest Court.
First, let me be clear, these machines are not pari-mutuel – even common sense is clear. The French term “pari-mutuel” literally means: – “pari” – to wager. “mutuel” – means among, with or mutual.
When a patron chooses his own machine, and the machine randomly chooses his own historical race, and the patron places his own wager at his own time, he is not wagering against, among or with ANYONE else. He is not in a “wagering pool” – he is simply trying to win money that others have already lost that has been placed in a pool stewarded by the House. If it is pari-mutuel, answer the question, “Who is he wagering against, among or with?”
Secondly, I want to thank our attorney, Stan Cave, who with great difficulty and with little or no help from opposing counsel in discovery, uncovered by himself the fact that machines are driven by random number generators and mathematical algorithms rather than being truly pari-mutuel wagering on a horse race. Stan has done an outstanding job and if justice prevails, we will win this case!