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Reason Foundation

Online GamblingóKentuckyís New ëSignatureí Industry

Steven Titch
January 25, 2009, 9:12am

Don't say you're surprised. Even as Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear moves against online casinos in the Bluegrass State, Churchill Downs Inc., owner of the eponymous race track that annually hosts the storied Kentucky Derby, is aiming to decrease its dependence on racing and focus on growth through online wagering and casino gambling, reports the Online Casino Advisory blog.
Beshear famously spoke of the need he saw to attempt to seize 141 Internet casino domain names by saying the move protected "Kentucky's signature industry," horse racing. But continued abandonment of state tracks by both gamblers and horse owners has apparently led the operators of the world's most famous track to think if ya can't beat'em, join 'em. Meanwhile, the protectionist policies of both Kentucky and the US take another blow, as horse racing blends with online gambling to the point that argument to the effect that there is a significant difference between the two seems foolish. Foreign competitors asking why horse race betting online is permitted while online casinos are not will see their legal battles made easier by the new business plan at Churchill.


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