Family Foundation to appeal ruling that approves Instant Racing in Kentucky

The Family Foundation on Thursday filed notice in Frankfort that it is appealing Franklin Circuit Court's approval of "historical wagering," a move that was expected.

Last month, Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate ruled that the state can regulate bets on videos of previously run horse races, including the game Instant Racing.

In Instant Racing, players try to pick the top three finishers in an anonymous horse race based on limited background information. Even though bettors are wagering on different horse races, Wingate ruled the betting is pari-mutuel because the money is pooled into one potential win pot.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission in July signed off on the form of electronic gambling as a way for Kentucky racetracks to compete with states that have slot machines.

"We always assumed this issue would eventually be settled by Kentucky's appellate courts. We are confident they will find that historic racing is allowed under Kentucky law, and we look forward to the assistance historic racing will give our struggling horse industry," Gov. Steve Beshear said in a statement.

The Family Foundation, a conservative advocacy group that opposes expanded gambling, said it is appealing Wingate's ruling because the group was not allowed discovery to ask questions about the game.

"We wanted to know, among other things, why four of the 10 affidavits filed in this case attested to events that happened after they were signed," said Martin Cothran, Family Foundation spokesman.

The group contends the games are illegal.

"If it looks like a slot machine and acts like a slot machine, then our position is that it is a slot machine," Cothran said.

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