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:

Don Weber

Don Weber is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers politics and education on Pure Politics, Kentucky’s only nightly program dedicated to state politics. Don is a lifelong Kentuckian and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University. He spent many years covering sports in the Northern Kentucky area before shifting primarily to politics. You can watch Don’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. If you have a story idea you can reach Don at


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