The world’s second oldest harness track adds historic racing machines to its offering at noon today. The Red Mile in Lexington, Kentucky added over 900 of the slot-like gaming machines that offer prizes from a parimutuel pool based on races run in the past, as part of a $42 million renovation and expansion in conjunction with Keeneland, a thoroughbred track also located in Lexington.
In July Keeneland moved their simulcast facilities to the Red Mile location and the two venues share a betting parlor upstairs. Additional improvements and the venerable horse track include over $2 million of improvements in the grandstand area.
Although not the first track in the state to offer the gaming devices, based on handle at other tracks Red Mile expects about $1 million a day in wagering on the machines. Most of that will be returned to players in the form of instant race winnings with the balance being split between Red Mile and Keeneland to sweeten purses at their live racing tracks.
Today’s launch creates Lexington’s first legal gambling parlor, much to the chagrine of The Family Foundation, who claim the instant racing machines are illegal slot machines. A lawsuit challenged the legality of the devices is currently in Franklin Circuit Court.