Red Mile Welcomes Instant Racing
The Red Mile racetrack is bringing a little Vegas flavor to Lexington with a new instant racing parlor, and while the games may resemble slot machines track officials say they’re actually the next step in the evolution of horse racing.
Over 900 new instant racing machines lit up at the 140-year-old track’s new addition last Saturday – bringing with them the hope of a new revenue stream for the struggling venue. Lewis Cella, Vice President of Race Tech, tells WKYT-TV the machines could be a lifeline.
"Racing's dying," he said. "If racing doesn't have an alternative revenue source to bring up purses and to help the racing industry, unfortunately it's going to go away."
The track moved forward with the 60,000 square foot expansion despite a still unresolved court challenge by the Family Foundation of Kentucky questioning the legality of the racing terminals, which they characterize as horse-themed slot machines.
"We are surprised that they've invested this much money in a process that is likely against the law in Kentucky," foundation executive director Kent Ostrander says.
For now the machines are allowed while the courts decide whether the games, which enable players to bet on previously-run races stripped of the horses’ and jockeys’ names, are permitted under state law.