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Instant racing tops $21 million in September at 2 Kentucky tracks

New Instant Racing electronic gambling machines are seen in the gaming room at Kentucky Downs during a media preview day on Wednesday, August 31, 2011 in Franklin, Ky. Kentucky Downs and Ellis Park now have Instant Racing machines, with Keeneland and The Red Mile to follow in summer 2015. Photo by Luke Sharrett
New Instant Racing electronic gambling machines are seen in the gaming room at Kentucky Downs during a media preview day on Wednesday, August 31, 2011 in Franklin, Ky. Kentucky Downs and Ellis Park now have Instant Racing machines, with Keeneland and The Red Mile to follow in summer 2015. Photo by Luke Sharrett

With two racetracks now operating instant racing machines full-time, wagering on the electronic gambling devices jumped more than 18 percent in September to almost $21 million.

Kentucky Downs in Franklin, which installed the games in September 2011, reported that a record $18.95 million was wagered. Ellis Park in Henderson, which opened its instant racing room in August, reported $2.04 million wagered.

Betting at both tracks has been climbing, with Kentucky Downs topping $1 million a day on multiple days; on Sept. 30, a record $1.46 million was bet.

Most of the money was returned to bettors in the form of winnings, but the tracks netted a combined $1.35 million in September and paid to the state almost $315,000 in pari-mutuel taxes.

Cumulatively, since instant racing's inception in Kentucky, almost $169 million has been wagered on the outcomes of previously run races. The tracks have received more than $11.4 million and have paid more than $2.5 million in pari-mutuel taxes. Altogether, almost $1.9 million has been contributed to various purses around the state.

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