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Hearing set in 'Instant Racing' case

Oral arguments have been set for Dec. 14 on the legality of allowing wagers on previously run horse races.

Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate is expected to rule on the case before the General Assembly meets in January.

At the hearing, Wingate will hear from the racetracks, the state and the Family Foundation, a conservative advocacy group that petitioned to intervene in the case.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission in July passed regulations to allow racetracks to take bets on "historical races," such as the type of electronic gambling known as Instant Racing.

The Family Foundation has argued such bets are illegal because the races are not live and the bets are not pooled in the same manner as traditional pari-mutuel betting.

On the day the new regulations were passed in Lexington, the state and the tracks filed a request for declaration judgment in Frankfort, asking the court to rule on whether the games are legal.

In Instant Racing, played at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas, bettors wager on the outcome of previously run races without knowing the track or the jockey. Bettors play on individual video terminals; they do not bet on the same race at the same time.

Kentucky racetracks, which have lobbied for expanded gambling, contend betting on Instant Racing would not be as lucrative for them or for the state as electronic slots or video lottery terminals.

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