Nevada Racebooks, Churchill Downs Reach Agreement to Simulcast Horse Races

Nevada Racebooks, Churchill Downs Reach Agreement to Simulcast Horse Races
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Bettors in Nevada can wager again on thoroughbred races simulcast from major horse tracks in Kentucky, Louisiana and Arkansas.

An agreement between the Nevada Pari-Mutuel Association and Churchill Downs Inc. opened the door to wagering at Nevada racebooks Thursday on races from the Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots in New Orleans and Turfway Park in Florence, Kentucky, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Turfway is about 20 minutes south of Cincinnati.

Opening-day horse races on Friday at Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort also will be available to bettors at Nevada racebooks. Oaklawn is in Hot Springs, Arkansas, about an hour southwest of Little Rock.

Churchill Downs Inc., a publicly traded company based in Louisville, Kentucky, owns the Fair Grounds and Turfway tracks. The company also owns the TwinSpires online betting platform, available on computers or through cellphone apps.

Oaklawn is privately owned but has an arrangement with Churchill Downs to distribute its signal.


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Dispute Shuts Nevada Out of Kentucky Derby

The Nevada Pari-Mutuel Association forwarded signed contracts for the simulcast agreement this week to the Nevada Gaming Control Board for approval, the newspaper reported. The board gave the green light for wagering on races at the three tracks.

Churchill Downs had withheld the signal from these tracks last year in a dispute over the Kentucky-based company's higher fees. Gamblers in Nevada have not been able to bet on horse races from the historic Churchill Downs track, home of the Kentucky Derby, since October 2019.

The Nevada Pari-Mutuel Association executive director, Patty Jones, told the newspaper that the simulcast contracts this week are a “positive movement” in resolving the overall dispute with Churchill Downs Inc.


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Mobile Sports Betting Vote Set for Arkansas

The opening-day races at Oaklawn on Friday are the first time in the track’s history that the racing season has begun in December. This year’s 66-day schedule runs through May 8, 2022.

Horse racing first began in 1904 at the clay-and-soil track just south of downtown Hot Springs.

The annual Arkansas Derby, held in the spring at Oaklawn, is considered an important run-up to the Triple Crown races.

Also in Arkansas, the Racing Commission, which regulates all gambling in the state, is set to vote Dec. 30 on a rule change that would allow mobile sports betting statewide. Sports betting now only occurs on-site at the state’s three casinos.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson, R-Ark., has said he supports mobile sports betting partly because it will keep Arkansas competitive with two neighboring states, Tennessee and Louisiana, where it has been legalized.

Oaklawn’s horse-racing app, Oaklawn Anywhere, allows bettors to wager on live horse races at various tracks, but not on sporting events such as football, basketball and baseball.