Louisville, KY – Track officials say without gaming options like slot machines, they can't offer large enough purses to remain competitive with other tracks.
Measures to legalize expanded gaming have twice failed in the Kentucky General Assembly. But Thoroughbred Times News Editor Ed DeRosa says it's not just the lack of slot machines that's keeping horses out of races. Rather, he says, there are simply too many races and not enough horses.
"Personally as a player, I had no interest in betting Churchill Downs the week after the Kentucky Derby. The fields were just too small, it was uninteresting racing. That type of thing is what keeps people away, not the fact that they don't have slots."
DeRosa says the reduction in race days could lead to more horses on the remaining cards, and possibly to larger purses.