A judge in Lexington will allow a group of gamblers to sue Keeneland and the Red Mile over losses on slots-like historical horseracing machines that Kentucky Supreme Court found were illegal.
Fayette Circuit Court Judge Thomas Travis on Tuesday overruled a motion by the Lexington racetracks to dismiss the lawsuit, filed in February.
Instead, Travis ordered attorneys for the tracks and for the gamblers to begin preparing for trial. A pretrial conference is scheduled July 7.
According to the suit, the dozen plaintiffs “sustained thousands of dollars of losses” which are documented by the loyalty program that the gambling parlor used.
The Kentucky Supreme Court in September 2020 held that the machines were not parimutuel, so the plaintiffs want to use existing Kentucky statute on illegal gambling to recover their losses. In February the General Assembly made a legislative fix allowing the historical machines to resume play.
A lot of money could be at stake. In addition to the dozen plaintiffs, there could be many more if the lawsuit becomes a class action, as the filings indicate attorney Andre Regard is seeking.
Regard did not return calls for comment.
The gamblers are seeking to recover losses “by persons gambling on Historical Horse Racing machines (“HHR”) within the last 5 years,” operated jointly by Keeneland and the Red Mile at the Red Mile, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit also seeks punitive damages under the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act.
Similar lawsuits have been filed in at least two other Kentucky counties but this is the first one to get a ruling on whether it should be dismissed.