(Derby City Gaming operations in Louisville / Photo by Gene McLean)

Kentucky Senate Bill 120 — a proposed piece of legislation filed by Senator John Schickel to address the Kentucky Supreme Court decision that questions the legality of Historic Horse Racing machines — is scheduled to be heard in the Senate’s Licensing & Occupations Committee on Thursday.

Since the primary bill sponsor is the Chairman of that Committee, the measure is expected to pass and be sent on its’ merry way to the Senate Floor — where it is likely to get a vote next week.

In a statement release to the press, Chairman Schickel stated:

“This effort is about preserving a system of wagering we’ve known for living racing for decades and historical horse racing for the last ten years. This is about maintaining the status quo. Our immediate action as legislators is critical to protecting current and future jobs and economic development across the Commonwealth.”

Also co-sponsoring the bill is Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers, Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer and two leading Democrats — Sen. Reginald Thomas and Sen. Dennis Parrett.

Action is needed on the proposed legislation in February, since, for some unforeseen reason, the Kentucky Supreme Court issued a timeline and shot clock to attempt to close HHR operations that are currently in operation at many racetrack venues around the state — despite the fact that the lawsuit was aimed at only one betting device, which is not used in most of the HHR venues.

The Red Mile and Keeneland, both located in Lexington and who jointly operate a facility in Central Kentucky, have currently suspended those operations until legislation gets passed to address the legal issues.

If you are interested in this measure, which is critical to underwriting the overall purse structure at the Kentucky racing circuit, then contact any and all members of the Kentucky General Assembly.

You can find a list of those members here:


The starting gate is getting ready to spring open. Don’t allow the industry to get left at the gate.