The 45th annual meeting of the American Horse Council held in Washington, D.C., in late June, drew nearly 200 attendees including industry leaders from 50 organizations, members of Congress and staff, and federal regulators.
Legislation has been introduced in Congress to amend the 1961 Federal Wire Act to ban all forms of interstate wagering except horse racing.
Racing regulators and other industry officials were told April 7 they should use existing tools to push states to adopt the National Uniform Medication Program.
Federal intervention is the only way horse racing can resolve issues surrounding equine medication use, drug testing, and sufficient investigatory programs, said an attorney, also a Kentucky racing commissioner, May 2.
- By Tom LaMarra
As predicted by horsemen earlier this year, members of Congress are again preparing to introduce legislation that would regulate the use of medication in racehorses.
Horsemen expect members of Congress to make another attempt at winning support for legislation that would regulate medication use in racehorses by banning all race-day administration.
The Delaware Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association said Jan. 31 it is "at an impasse in negotiations" with Delaware Park on a new contract.
- By Tom LaMarra
A new grassroots organization that opposes use of medication on race day wants involvement by the federal government in horse racing.
Casino cleanup legislation passed by the Ohio Senate May 10 has some new horse racing-related language, including a section that ensures the industry will get no less than 9% of gross revenue from racetrack VLTs.
Arlington Park and the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association said they reached an agreement on a contract for the 2012 racing season May 3.
- By Tom LaMarra
A member of Congress who in 2011 co-sponsored federal legislation that would regulate safety and integrity in horse racing has renewed his call in the wake of a March 25 report in the New York Times.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued an opinion Jan. 24 that states the federal Interstate Horseracing Act trumps Ohio statute in regard to horsemen having a say in where races are transmitted.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has hired a Washington, D.C.-based firm to handle its legislative affairs given the organization is no longer a member of the NTRA.
A contract dispute threatens full-card simulcasts and could lead to daily stall rent and payments to keep the racetrack open for training effective Jan. 1 at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort in West Virginia.
- By Tom LaMarra
Horse racing officials said the industry bought some time with the announcement regulations tied to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act won't take effect until June 1, 2010.
Federal legislation that would regulate online poker and games of skill protects pari-mutuel horse racing under the Interstate Horseracing Act and includes various tax breaks sought by the racing industry, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association said Aug. 7.
A bill that would end a ban on wagering online in the United States was introduced May 6 by Democratic Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts.
The Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 is a double-edge sword. And the debate over whether it should be amended continues.
The Bush administration issued a final regulation Nov. 12 aimed at banning Internet gambling, drawing criticism from Democrats who said it would burden financial companies.
United States District Court Judge Michael Watson granted the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association's motion for partial judgment on the pleadings in its lawsuit versus the Ohio State Racing Commission, Beulah Park, River Downs, Chester Downs, and others.
Churchill Downs Inc. has fired back at horsemen's groups it has sued over alleged federal antitrust violations, calling their collective actions "price-fixing, pure and simple."
Drugged equines, grisly catastrophic breakdowns, greedy breeders, damaged racehorses with nowhere to go, inaction and confusion, and industry leaders more concerned with holding onto power than doing the right thing -- a congressional subcommittee heard it all June 19 during a hearing in Washington, D.C.
A congressional subcommittee could schedule a hearing as early as June to examine breakdowns, medication use, and breeding practices in Thoroughbreds.
The National Racing Compact, which currently authorizes multi-jurisdictional licensing for the pari-mutuel industry, is being offered as an alternative to possible federal regulation of aspects of the horseracing industry.
By Rep. Ed Whitfield - Three years ago, Congress examined the explosion of steroid use plaguing Major League Baseball. The integrity of the game was called into question and a dark cloud was cast over America's favorite pastime.
Efforts to formulate regulations for the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 continue to be shadowed by a conflict between the United States and other countries over a trade dispute.
Legislation calling for a study of Internet gambling, including the impact of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Beulah Park again is importing signals from two California racetracks, and purses at the Ohio track have been restored to previous levels after an agreement was reached with the Thoroughbred Owners of California.
Wagering on races from Bay Meadows and Santa Anita Park wasn't available anywhere in Ohio March 10 as a dispute between Beulah Park and horsemen lingers.
The owner of Beulah Park said a decision by the Thoroughbred Owners of California to pull signals from his Ohio racetrack will only hurt horsemen by triggering a purse cut.
A Standardbred horsemen's group in New Jersey said it has dropped a lawsuit against the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority and TVG after the parties resolved their differences regarding interstate wagering on Meadowlands harness races.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick - I had to go all the way to Dubai to hear a panel discussion about how racing officials in various American jurisdictions have different interpretations about the most basic rules infraction.
The Jockeys' Guild has launched a federal and state legislative agenda for 2007 aimed at improving pay and other benefits for riders.
The Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association is challenging in federal court the constitutionality of an Ohio law governing the sending of simulcast signals.
The Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey has started legal action in connection with the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority's contract awarding TVG exclusive rights to the harness signal from Meadowlands.
With the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association seeking a higher rate for the Gulfstream Park signal, and the existing rate governed by a contract with the racetrack, the six off-track betting corporations in New York didn't carry the Jan. 3 opening-day program from the South Florida racetrack.
The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association is contributing $23,000 to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, but not without voicing displeasure with the Jockeys' Guild.
Representatives of horsemen's groups criticized for not supporting the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund questioned jockeys' support for the fund and said pursuit of legislation that would amend the Interstate Horseracing Act has damaged relations between horsemen and jockeys.
President Bush signed a bill Oct. 13 to tighten port security and ban Internet gambling - with the exception of wagers placed on horse racing.
Racing's right to offer account wagering under the amended 1978 Interstate Horseracing Act was reaffirmed in Internet gaming legislation passed early Saturday morning by the U.S. House and Senate.
The launch of the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund is a clear sign the relationship between jockeys and other industry groups is improving, but they remain at odds over a proposal by some members of Congress to amend the Interstate Horseracing Act to provide insurance for jockeys and others who make their living at the racetrack.
A member of Congress from Kentucky has drafted two pieces of legislation that would amend the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 to provide dedicated funding for workers' compensation insurance for jockeys, exercise riders, trainers, and backstretch workers.
As Congress continues to haggle over the scope and objective of the proposed Internet Gambling Prohibition Act, the racing industry again finds itself in disagreement with the Department of Justice over whether interstate simulcasts are legal under the federal law.
A Congressman from Kentucky said legislation that would amend the Interstate Horseracing Act to provide workers' compensation insurance for jockeys, backstretch workers, and trainers could be ready for consideration in about four weeks.
Industry officials have expressed some discomfort with a lawmaker's plan to introduce legislation that would amend the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 to provide funds for workers' compensation insurance for jockeys.
Legislation to be considered by the Indiana Senate would mandate that incoming simulcasts be made available to all wagering outlets in the state or not be available at all. The bill was reported out of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security, Utilities, and Public Policy Jan. 24.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association's ongoing efforts in Washington, D.C. have become the major carrot as the organization seeks to sign up horsemen's associations for five-year memberships effective in 2006.
The Congressional Horse Caucus, now more than 60 members strong, said it supports efforts to stop illegal Internet gambling but said any proposed legislation must be clarified to protect legal pari-mutuel account wagering and simulcasting.
Youbet.com handled more than $3.5 million on Preakness day, May 21, up 75% from the $2 million wagered on the same day in 2003, the last year the online wagering service offered the race.
The Thoroughbred industry is lining up legal assistance in its effort to understand the ramifications of a World Trade Organization Appellate Body ruling that calls into question the fairness of the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978.
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