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Court of Appeals Has Six Months To Rule on Legality of Instant Racing

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A decision is expected within six weeks over whether Instant Racing is legal in Kentucky. The state’s Court of Appeals heard arguments in the case today.

Instant Racing is a slots-like game that Kentucky racetracks hope to use to boost race purses. But the Family Foundation of Kentucky says the game isn’t pari-mutuel betting like horse racing, but instead is closer to a slot machine.

Foundation executive director Kent Ostrander says based on questions from the appeals judge, he believes the case will go back to square one.

“If the rule of law still presides in Kentucky I feel we’ll have a favorable outcome. Whether that a full reversal or remanded down to the circuit court,” he says.

But Ostrander added he believes the issue received a fair hearing.

“I think the justices asked all kinds of questions from all different sides. But it was good to see they were greatly engaged. And when people are engaged and when the media is engaged and I think the full truth about what’s going on in this state regarding Instant Racing comes to life,” he says

Several horseracing businesses contend the lower court’s decision was correct and that Instant Racing is allowed in Kentucky by the same laws that permit betting on horse races.

The Court of Appeals can uphold the lower court’s ruling, overturn it, or order a re-trial in Franklin Circuit Court.

Kenny Colston is the Frankfort Bureau Chief for Kentucky Public Radio (a collaborative effort of public radio stations in Kentucky). Colston has covered Kentucky's Capitol and state government since 2010. He is a Louisville native, and a graduate of the University of Kentucky. When he's not tracking down stories about Kentucky politics, you can often find him watching college sports, particularly football.
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