As New England Thoroughbred horsemen and stakeholders continue to stare at a precarious fate in the industry, The Stronach Group is looking at possible expansion into the region.
With the Race Horse Development Fund, which was created to give the struggling Massachusetts horse racing and breeding industry a lifeline, now in serious peril, Thoroughbred horsemen traveled to the state capitol in Boston to lobby lawmakers June 7.
The potential return of live racing to the Brockton Fairgrounds was delayed once again July 21, when the Massachusetts Gaming Commission tabled the track's request for funds to cover the administrative and operational expenses of running a live meet.
Thoroughbred horsemen in Massachusetts will get a significantly smaller allocation of the state's multimillion dollar Race Horse Development Fund for purses and breeders' awards.
Suffolk Downs received approval from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission June 9 to use $2.4 million from the Race Horse Development Fund for purses over six days of Thoroughbred racing this year.
The nine members of a reconstituted Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission have been appointed by Gov. Tom Wolf under legislation he signed into law in late February.
A subcommittee of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission March 29 opted to delay a vote and instead solicit input on the percentage of revenue Thoroughbred and Standardbred purses and breeding funds get from casino gaming.
State officials in Pennsylvania said they expect lawmakers the week of Nov. 16 to consider legislation that would, in part, stabilize the funding of horse racing regulation.
Live Thoroughbred racing can return to Brockton Fairgrounds for the first time since 2001 and Suffolk Downs will double the days of its live meet in 2016.
Racing stakeholders in Pennsylvania are working with Gov. Tom Wolf's administration to devise a funding plan for regulation in the wake of ongoing declines in pari-mutuel handle in the state.
The ownership groups of Suffolk Downs and the Brockton Fairgrounds, which has not hosted Thoroughbred racing since 2001, have filed applications with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission for live racing dates in 2016.
Live racing will return to Suffolk Downs this fall now that the Massachusetts Gaming Commission has given formal approval to the application by the racetrack for a three-day meet in 2015.
Though Suffolk Downs had published a condition sheet for races Aug. 8, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission July 23 delayed action on the track's application for three live racing dates this year.
Distributions to horse racing from the state Race Horse Development Fund increased 9.5% in 2014 from the previous year, according to the annual Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board benchmark report released April 28.
Suffolk Downs, which announced in September it would no longer offer live racing and would not apply for a 2015 racing license, is expected to reverse course and apply for dates within two to three weeks.
There will be a live race meet at Suffolk Downs in 2015 and 2016 now that track ownership and the New England Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association have come to terms.
Negotiations that could lead to reopening of Suffolk Downs are continuing after track owners proposed the possibility of using money generated from the state's casino industry to help underwrite the cost of a meet.
The Massachusetts horsemen and breeders now live to fight another day after the referendum to repeal the bill authorizing three resort casinos and one slots parlor in the state was resoundingly rejected at the polls.
The Horse Racing Committee of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission decided Aug. 5 to stick with the allocation percentage it voted on at its previous meeting.
The struggling Massachusetts harness racing industry received a huge boost Feb. 27 when the Massachusetts Gaming Commission selected Penn National Gaming proposal to build a slots parlor at Plainridge Race Course.
A Pennsylvania lawmaker's proposal to gut the Race Horse Development Fund supported by revenue from slot machines generated a strong response from the Pennsylvania Equine Coalition.
The Pennsylvania Equine Coalition has announced that a provision of state code that resulted in the diversion of 17% from the Race Horse Development Fund has sunset with the adoption of the state budget.
The Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association Political Action Committee will hold its third annual online stallion season auction Jan. 24, 25, and 26 to benefit the PAC and the racehorse retirement program Turning For Home.
A shift in slot machine revenue from horse racing to other programs in Pennsylvania is set to expire this summer, and the Pennsylvania Equine Coalition Jan. 8 urged lawmakers to honor the sunset provision.
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