Legislation protecting historical horse racing games was signed into law by Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear Feb. 22.
Senate Bill 120 updates the state’s definition of pari-mutuel wagering to specifically include HHR games. A state Supreme Court decision in September had determined that at least one brand of HHR was not pari-mutuel. The HHR machines were approved by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and are supposed to feature pari-mutuel payouts based on previously run races.
Over the last decade that HHR has been in place, it has helped Kentucky’s breeding and racing industry through improved purses with significant investments made or planned for tracks throughout the state.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project, Kentucky’s equine economic advocate, released the following statement Monday regarding Beshear’s signature on the bill:
“We thank Gov. Beshear for signing Senate Bill 120 into law, which ensures the future of our equine industry while protecting thousands of local jobs. Kentuckians and the legislators who represent them have made clear that they support historical horse racing and the many benefits it brings to our communities. We are optimistic about the horse industry’s road ahead and remain committed to keeping Kentucky a world-class racing destination for many years to come.”
SB 120 gained approval from the Kentucky House of Representatives Feb. 11, two days after it was approved by the State Senate. The bill experienced about a week’s delay with the Senate in recess before it could be enrolled and sent to the governor’s desk.