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They Had Questions About Legality

The Family Foundation did NOT bring this case, the case was brought by Kentucky's Horse Racing Commission and Racetracks, who had questions about the legality of the machines they sought to license and operate.


In an attempted end-run around the General Assembly, on July 20, 2010, the Commission adopted new regulations purporting to authorize a new form of electronic slot gaming, known as historical horse racing. On the same day, the Commission and Racetracks filed an “agreed case” under KRS 418.020, in the Franklin Circuit Court seeking declarations that: 

1.  The Commission’s adoption of new regulations to license the operation of pari-mutuel wagering on historical horse racing was a valid and lawful exercise of the Commission’s statutory authority under KRS Chapter 230;

2.  The licensed operation of pari-mutuel wagering on historical horseraces pursuant to the new regulations did not violate the prohibitions of KRS Chapter 528 because the gaming system fit within the pari-mutuel wagering exemption of KRS 436.480.

They alleged no facts upon which their second question depended, as required by KRS 418.020, and named no respondents or defendants to their agreed case.


According to the Appellees, if historical horse racing gaming was pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing which was authorized by KRS Chapter 230, the wagering would be exempt by KRS 436.480 from the gambling prohibitions of KRS Chapter 528.


To answer their first question, the Commission and Racetracks had to secure a facial determination that the new regulations concerning HHR were within the statutory authority of the Commission in KRS Chapter 230.


To answer their second question, they had to secure an as applied determination that the actual operation of historical horse racing was within the scope of the new regulations and the statutory authority of the Commission.


The second question remains unanswered and is currently being considered by the Kentucky Supreme Court... Despite not having an answer to THEIR QUESTION about whether the machines are even legal, Kentucky's Horse Racing Commission has licensed them and the state's Racetracks are operating them.

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