April gains for slot-like Kentucky machines

Kentucky Downs historical horse racingKentucky’s slot-like historical horse racing games posted the second best month in their history in April, according to results from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

The state’s three racetrack parlors saw $64.7 million bet through the machines in April, bettered only by March’s $66.56 million. The year over year gain was 160.12 percent, which is attributable to the Lexington parlor still being in its first year of operation and the state’s biggest parlor rebounding from a decline in April 2015 when it installed new machines.

The biggest parlor, Kentucky Downs in Franklin along the Tennessee border, handled $37.85 million — also only bettered by the March total of $38.13 million. The April total was up 86.3 percent over the April when the Simpson County track switched the brand of its machines. The April 2015 total was down 19.69 percent over April 2014.

Ellis Park handled $7.18 million, a record month for the Henderson track.

The new parlor at The Red Mile, a joint venture of the standardbred track and Keeneland, in Lexington saw $19.69 million bet, its second best month since opening in September. It’s best month was $21.4 million in March.

The machines, billed as a purse-boosting pari-mutuel alternative to a slot machine, debuted in Kentucky in September 2011. The legality of the games continues to be the subject of a lawsuit by The Family Foundation of Kentucky, which contends the machines are illegal slots.

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