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Push for OTB Expansion Underway in Virginia

Signatures are being gathered in the town of Vinton, Virginia to place a referendum on the November ballot for what could be Virginia's first off-track betting center outside of southeastern Virginia.

Secretariat Plates, Commission Powers Bill Topics

A bill that would issue Secretariat License Plates has been introduced in the Virginia General Assembly. Proceeds from the plates would go to the development of the Secretariat Museum at Meadow Farm in Doswell, the place of Secretariat's birth.

Magna Gets Approval to Operate Colonial Downs

The Virginia Racing Commission approved Wednesday an application that allows Maryland Racing Inc. to acquire a majority interest of the Colonial Downs operator's license. Maryland Racing is owned by Magna Entertainment Corp. With the approval, Magna Entertainment's purchase of Laurel Park and Pimlico can be finalized.

Virginia Racing Legislation Clears Another Hurdle

Broad-based legislation on racing issues passed the House of Delegates General Laws Committee Feb. 28 after two sets of amendments were discussed. The bill patroned by Sen. Kenneth Stolle passed with a 16-3 vote late in the afternoon.

Colonial Downs Shareholders Approve Privatization

Colonial Downs reported to the Virginia Racing Commission on Wednesday that the plan to privatize Colonial Downs was approved Jan. 10 by shareholders of the company that owns the Virginia track and its off-track betting facilities.

Virginia Racing Has Legislative Wish List

The Virginia Racing Commission may take a more active role in regulating horse racing if the recommendations of a blue-ribbon committee are implemented. The panel suggests a need for more off-track wagering facilities, elimination of a law that mandates 150 live racing dates by 2006, and addition of account wagering.

NTRA Purchases Fingerprint Machine for National Racing Compact

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The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) purchased a portable, digital fingerprint machine for the National Racing Compact (NRC) that will aid in streamlining and simplifying the licensing process. The purchase follows a recommendation of an NTRA Task Force to support the national licensing of owners and other industry participants.

National Licensing Efforts Gain Momentum

The drive toward national licensing for the horse industry picked up momentum recently when legislatures in Kentucky and Nebraska voted to join the National Racing Compact, an interstate government entity formed last year and comprised primarily of pari-mutuel regulators.

Once Again, Regulators' Organization in Turmoil

On the eve of its annual convention, the Association of Racing Commissioners International is again faced with a mass exodus that could threaten its viability. As of Thursday, up to 10 jurisdictions had informed the Lexington-based organization they had defected or would withhold dues pending changes at RCI. At issue is president Tony Chamblin's handling of the organization and its finances, in particular a $50,000 check he is said to have written himself last year. In December, Chamblin's salary and benefits package for the remaining two years of his contract was reduced.

RCI Amends Chamblin's Contract; Virginia Drops Out

The Association of Racing Commissioners International's board of directors has reduced the salary and benefits package of president Tony Chamblin for the remaining two years of his current contract. Details of the salary and perks changes, which came during a marathon session of the board in Tucson, Arizona, on Thursday, were not immediately available.

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