Kentucky Chamber files amicus brief in historical horse racing case

The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce on Thursday submitted a brief of amicus curiae to the Kentucky Supreme Court in support of rehearing the case on historical horse racing.

“The Chamber takes this unusual step out of genuine concern that the Court may have abandoned long-standing doctrines of statutory construction, strayed from its usual adherence to precedent, and reached a conclusion that could be potentially devastating to the horse industry and thereby Kentucky’s economy,” wrote Louisville-based attorney Virginia Hamilton Snell on behalf of the Kentucky Chamber in the motion for leave to file.

The Supreme Court issued an opinion in September stating that historical horse racing machines – which have created a major source of revenue for Kentucky’s signature equine industry in recent years – did not meet the legal definition of pari-mutuel wagering and are thus prohibited by state law.

“The equine industry is not only a major economic driver responsible for thousands of Kentucky jobs, it’s also part of our identity,” said Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ashli Watts. “Introduction of historical horse racing has allowed the industry to thrive, creating more jobs and generating hundreds of millions of dollars of investment in the Commonwealth. To shut these machines down would be a major blow to a signature industry and result in more layoffs for Kentuckians in the midst of a global pandemic.”

Historical Horse Racing operators are expected to submit a petition for reconsideration in the coming days to the Supreme Court before a final ruling is issued.

Click here to view the full amicus brief

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Jacqueline Pitts
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