Instant Racing Article 1-2012

January 2012

“Instant Racing” takes a bizarre path

But the story is far more intriguing than a simple headline because the legality of the game is still working its way through the courts.

201201 JOn July 14, 2010, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission approved an application allowing “Instant Racing” machines to be placed at Kentucky Downs even though the legality of the gaming scheme still rests with the Kentucky Court of Appeals.  Other race tracks were less bold, but nothing would stop the Racing Commission.

A quick glance at the history of the case reveals striking “irregularities” that are bewildering for the person who simply trusts in “the process” to find justice.  Here is a partial list:

  1. The court case began as a one-sided case when the Racing Commission, the Kentucky Revenue Cabinet and the eight Kentucky horse racing tracks literally sued themselves.  Though this rare procedure can be done in civil cases for clarity regarding a critically pending point of law, they were asking the court if they would be criminally liable if they brought such video gambling machines into the state.  A civil case?
  2. To bring this special court case, they pleaded to the court that the need for the machines was an “immediate,” yet for seven months they deferred repeatedly a simple hearing by a legislative committee that could have decided their question with a simple vote. Immediate?
  3. Then they finally allowed that legislative oversight committee to vote on the issue on May 10, 2011, but only when two anti-gambling legislators were unable to attend the hearing.  The vote was four against the new gambling regulations and one for the new regulations. Because the rules of the committee required five “no” votes to kill such proposals, they were “passed.”  How did they know two anti-gambling representatives were not going to attend the hearing?
  4. When The Family Foundation petitioned to enter the case so the other side of the issue was at least presented, they were allowed to become a party but were told by the judge they could not do “discovery.”  Entering a court case and not being allowed to ask questions is like a father telling his children that they can go swimming but “just don’t get wet.”  What is a court case other than a mutual “asking of questions” to get to the bottom of the issues at hand?
  5. When the judge ruled in favor of the Racing Commission and tracks on Dec. 29, 2010, he did not even mention the statute in question when the suit was initiated.  In other words, they sued to be sure they would not violate a particular statute yet the judge never referenced the statute – in essence he just said, “Okay.”  Was the real question truly examined?
  6. When The Family Foundation asked for records of communication between the race tracks and the government agencies, the agencies denied the request claiming that they were protecting records because they had “common interest” with the tracks.  Since when does a government agency “have a common interest with the gambling industry”?
  7. When The Family Foundation asked for assistance from the Attorney General regarding their request for information, the request was denied because the Attorney General had a “conflict of interest.”  Why does he now have a conflict of interest when he did not have one last year when he wrote a favorable (but questionable) opinion for the race tracks?
  8. The five video games approved as “Instant Racing” by the Racing Commission on July 14, 2010, include “Crusin’ for Cash”, “Sir Willie’s Treasure Quest”, Cash Carnival”, “Wild West Willie’s Lucky Draw” and Yukon Willie’s Gold Rush.”  These are horse races?
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