Then and now: Turfway braces for increased casino competition but not ready to sell yet

03/05/2012 07:25 AM

FLORENCE — Turfway Park and the other Kentucky horse race tracks are revising their long-term strategies now that they know casino gambling isn’t likely to happen in Kentucky for the next two years.

The Northern Kentucky track, which already scaled back racing days, could sell its land to developers if it falls much further behind the competition, said on Pure Politics last month.

Elliston and other horse industry leaders had been pushing for a constitutional amendment to allow casino gambling, which failed Feb. 23 in the state Senate by a 16-21 vote.

But Elliston said last week that track owners have no immediate plans to fold. And that’s welcome news to area leaders who were concerned about the economic and intangible effects of losing the track:

Elliston has said that without casino gambling, the track would struggle to compete with casinos across the river, including a soon-to-open casino in Cincinnati.

In 1996, then-General Manager Mark Simendinger said without casino gambling, the track would struggle to compete with casinos across the river. Sound familiar?

Here’s a report from Cris Kendall from 1996 on Turfway:

About Don Weber

Don Weber joined cn|2 when it launched back in May 2010 and soon became a reporter for Pure Politics. He is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University and has spent many years covering everything from politics to sports. Don says he loves meeting new people everyday as part of his job and also enjoys the fact that no two days are the same when he comes to work. Don Weber can be reached at


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