LEXINGTON, Ky. (Tuesday, February 2, 2021) – The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP), Kentucky’s equine economic advocate, applauds Senator John Schickel and Senate President Robert Stivers for introducing Senate Bill 120 today, which will keep historical horse racing in Kentucky and ensure the future of our signature equine industry.
In response to the Supreme Court’s ruling on historical horse racing, the legislation will define pari-mutuel wagering to be consistent with how the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has regulated live racing for decades and historical horse racing for the last ten years. The legislation also reaffirms that only pari-mutuel wagering on simulcasts of live racing can occur at simulcast facilities. In effect, this maintains the status quo that Kentucky has known for the last decade, ensuring HHR venues can continue or resume operations that are so beneficial to the horse industry and statewide economy.
KEEP issued the following statement regarding the legislation:
“We applaud Sen. Schickel for championing Senate Bill 120, which will keep historical horse racing in Kentucky and protect critical jobs, economic investment and state revenue at a time when they are needed most. We also thank Senate President Stivers for his support as a co-sponsor of this important legislation. The Kentucky Supreme Court gave the General Assembly clear direction to preserve the status quo, and SB 120 gives us a path forward.
“Historical horse racing is an integral part of Kentucky’s signature equine industry and our economy as a whole and has helped position Kentucky as a worldwide leader in racing. With real jobs and investment on the line, we urge the members of the Senate Licensing and Occupations Committee to promptly move this legislation forward so that the commonwealth can continue to benefit from historical horse racing, now and in the years to come.”
KEEP is joined by a broad coalition of industry, business and economic development groups in support of the bill and has been encouraging Kentuckians to contact their elected officials regarding the legislation. SB 120 is set to be heard in the Senate Licensing and Occupations Committee at 11 a.m. on Thursday, February 4.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project, Kentucky’s equine economic advocate, is a not-for-profit grassroots organization created in 2004 to preserve, promote and protect Kentucky’s signature multi-breed horse industry. KEEP is committed to ensuring Kentucky remains the horse capital of the world, including educating Kentuckians and elected officials of the importance of the horse industry to the state. KEEP was the driving force in the establishment of the Kentucky Breeders Incentive Fund, which has paid out more than $177 million to Kentucky breeders since its inception in 2006, and pari-mutuel wagering on historical horse racing, which has been responsible for more than $50 million to purses and more than $24 million to the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund.
KEEP works to strengthen the horse economy in Kentucky through our statewide network of citizen advocates. To learn more about how you can become a member or support our work, please visit www.horseswork.com.