Image source: Andreas Faessler, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
In September 2020 Kentucky’s news sites were loud of one topic: the Supreme Court banned some of the historical horse racing machines. It looks like it is about to change now since the Kentucky Senate is legalizing horse racing machines once again by passing Senate Bill 120. The Kentucky horse racing industry was in the favor of the state to change, so it was the one to propose and push the bill forward.
It is great to be a gambler in the United States these days. It is true, that 2020 gave us hard times and hit land-based casinos pretty hard – besides many other sectors. But these are willing to stay alive! The situation also shifted the attention to online gambling sites in the US, like CyberSpins Casino, bringing some benefits. Also, more and more states started to legalize online sports betting, especially before the huge gambling rage of the NFL’s Super Bowl. And now the Bluegrass State has its addition to the process. Kentucky Senate is legalizing historical horse racing machines – hopefully once and for all.
What is a historical horse racing machine?
This type of gambling can be a bit confusing, but it is not hard to clarify the work. The idea of the game came from the late 1990s. The concept is that we have a slot machine with a historical database, containing information about thousands of horse races from the past. It allows wagers to bet on these races, based on the statistics provided. They have data about how the horses performed before and their odds. What they do not know is the key information, like the name of the horse, the track, or the jockey.
Kentucky Senate is on the way to legalizing horse racing machines
They say that the problem with these slot machines is that they do not fit the definition of pari-mutual gambling. It means that players make bets against themselves and not the house, creating betting pools. This is the reason why some of them – that did not fit in the description – were shut down. And this is the factor that the new bill addresses. Senate Bill 120 alters the definition of pari-mutual wagering so that it covers historical horse racing machines as well. The Kentucky horse racing industry made the proposal last year after the Supreme Court’s above-mentioned ruling. Now, with a 22-15 vote, Senate Bill 120 can move on to the House of Representatives.
Kentucky Senate is legalizing horse racing machines – The positive side
After the ruling in 2020, the industry argued that the shutting down of these machines will have a bad impact on businesses and trigger job losses. One of the bills leading sponsors, Senator John Schickel, believes that SB 120 will support jobs, and thereby families of the state. For example, Norther Kentucky’s Turfway Park has 1,400 employees who might lose their jobs because of the close-down. It is a real problem since there has already been a massive drift from land-based casinos to online casino sites in the US, like CyberSpins Casino.
Kentucky Senate is legalizing horse racing machines – The negative side
Some critics state that the bill itself is unconstitutional. They believe that the implied machines cannot be legalized, only through a constitutional amendment. But for that, they would need a state referendum, making the process last until at least 2022. Some argue that the bill lacks morality: it fuels a sector which benefits from gamblers’ losses. Some criticize the bill’s effect on the traditional horse racing industry, threatening its employees. We are not the ones to decide who is right in the argument. But there is one thing we can say: more people could enjoy the historical horse racing machines, once the bill makes its final destination.