Racing resumes at Belterra Park as Ohio casinos await reopening date

Horse racing resumes at Belterra Park without fans
Updated: Jun. 4, 2020 at 10:23 PM EDT
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ANDERSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio (FOX19) - Ohio’s road to recovery continues as Belterra Park Cincinnati resumed races Thursday after receiving approval from the Ohio State Racing Commission.

The track’s schedule now features live racing weekly Tuesday-Friday with 75 races per day, though no spectators are allowed in.

Racing was originally scheduled to begin at the track April 24, but it was postponed due to Ohio Department of Health guidelines prohibiting mass gatherings during the pandemic.

Blair Bendel is vice president of marketing for Belterra Park.

“It was just fun seeing horses running around the track," Bendel said. "It’s great to see the racing community back here on property. We heard some excitement about them just being able to come back, and even though it was delayed a little bit, we’re excited to race again.”

Even though the track has races again, Bendel says it’s still following strict state protocols, such as wearing masks and featuring signage about social distancing.

All other amenities at Belterra Park, including the 1,300 slot machines on the gaming floor and the four restaurants, remain closed to the public.

“We spent this time focusing on really getting the property in great shape and welcome back our guests," Bendel said. "So we’re getting ready for that. Property’s ready to go. We just can not wait to welcome back our guests.”

The Indiana Gaming Commission has set a tentative reopening date for casinos on June 14.

The Ohio Casino Control Commission tells FOX19 NOW that while they are part of a workgroup advising Gov. Mike DeWine on best practices for reopening, there is still no date for reopening.

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