If his campaign for state senator is successful, Kentucky racetrack operators may have another voice from within their ranks to foster installing video lottery machines at the state’s tracks.
Damon Thayer, a veteran racetrack executive who now is vice president of Breeders’ Cup and event marketing for the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, has begun a campaign to win the 17th Senate District election on Jan. 28. Before moving his tack to Kentucky, where he has spent the past couple of years working with the Republican Party, Thayer was in charge of simulcast activities for the Maryland racetracks, an activity that caused him to become well-known to Nevada racebook directors.
Kentucky has redistricted some of its senatorial districts and one of the moves caused Sen. Daniel Mongiardo to leave the district he formerly represented. As a result, the two parties met to select their candidates and Thayer was chosen by the GOP committee.
Although time is short, Thayer promised to run a vigorous campaign based on "what he hears from the voters."
Should he be elected, Thayer would be in a strong position to explain the need for the state’s tracks to expand their gaming menu to include slots in order to compete with nearby riverboats and the growing list of states that have approved "racinos."