01/11/2013 4:03PM

Kentucky Supreme Court to take up ruling on Instant Racing


The Kentucky Supreme Court agreed on Friday to review a lower-court ruling issued in 2012 that cast doubt on the legality of the operation of so-called Instant Racing machines at state racetracks.

The Supreme Court agreed to review the ruling at the request of Gov. Steve Beshear and the state’s racetracks, which are the only entities in the state that can legally operate the machines. The devices, which use previously run horse races to generate random numbers determining payouts, were authorized by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission in 2011, and since then, two tracks, Kentucky Downs and Ellis Park, have installed the machines.

In June of last year, the Kentucky Court of Appeals threw out an earlier ruling by the Franklin District Court upholding the right of the racing commission to authorize the machines. The Court of Appeals had said that the plaintiff in the appeal, the Family Foundation, had been denied rights to collect and present evidence during the District Court’s adjudication of the matter, nullifying the District Court’s ruling.

In its request for the Supreme Court to review the Court of Appeals decision, the Beshear administration had said that it supported the first court’s decision upholding the racing commission’s right to pass rules authorizing the machines.