The state of Kentucky has been slow to reopen businesses in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, but that is set to change next week. Governor Andy Beshear announced on Thursday that the four historical horse racing venues in the state could reopen open Monday.
Representatives from the top horse racing venues in the state recently submitted reopening plans to the Governor, and those plans have been approved this week. Social distancing policies and new health and safety protocols were a major part of the reopening plans to keep both customers and employees safe.
Horse track parlors have been closed since mid-March, but Governor Beshear is now ready to let them reopen. Horse track parlors are extremely important to the economy in the state of Kentucky, and reopening these parlors will help the state recover from the pandemic.
Historical horse racing parlors feature machines that have the same look and feel of traditional slot machines. The major difference is that while slot machines and video terminals are randomly determined, the HHR machines are based on how a player picks the results of a previous or current horse race.
Customers are able to pick their own horses in a certain race, or they are allowed the computer to make the selections for them. The main reason that these machines are allowed in the state of Kentucky is that there is a level of skill that is involved in the games.
The state of Kentucky has some extremely strict rules when it comes to online gaming, but those rules don’t apply to HHR machines. The state lottery, charitable gaming, and pari-mutuel betting are the only forms of betting allowed in the state, and instant racing falls into the category of pari-mutuel betting.
There are more than 3,000 different HHR machines located throughout the state of Kentucky, and all of the machines are located at the four locations throughout the state. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has approved different locations to operate HHR machines, but the four main locations operate the majority of the machines.
Tracks Preparing For Races
Race tracks throughout the state have been preparing for the Governor to issue this statement, and they will be ready to launch starting on Monday. HHR parlors will be able to open soon, but they are limited to just 33 percent capacity.
Ellis Park is one of the locations that will be able to reopen starting on Monday, and they have been working hard to get their operations up and running. Ellis Park is working hard to get the racetrack ready to run races this summer, but they will welcome the opportunity to offer the HHR machines again starting on Monday.
More than 300 HHR machines are located at Ellis Park, and the location will have as many machines ready to go as the state allows. Under the current social distancing guidelines, Ellis Park is expected to have at least 140 machines ready to be offered to customers.
The HHR machines will provide some additional revenue to the horse racing tracks and the state, but it will not cover all of the revenue that was lost over the last few months.
Bars in the state of Kentucky are not allowed to reopen until the end of June, and, surprisingly, Beshear will let HHR machines to open back up. Bars cannot reopen until June 29, and HHR parlors were not mentioned in any part of the plans until the Governor made the announcement on Thursday.