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Small Washington Tracks Get Insurance Help

Washington Governor Christine Gregoire has signed legislation designed to keep the state's four non-profit racetracks in business after they were staggered by the three-fold increase in jockey insurance that threatened their 2006 racing seasons.

Horseracing Act Amendment May Be Ready in a Month

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.

Microchips, Equine Genomics on Horse Council Agenda

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The American Horse Council 2006 National Issues Forum will feature an all-day meeting of the Equine Species Working Group as well as a discussion on equine genomics, funding for which could be included in the next farm bill authored by Congress.

Washington Using Scan Fingerprint Technology

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Washington is introducing live scan fingerprint technology to the pari-mutuel industry as state racing commission officials begin to process the applications of owners, trainers, jockeys and other personnel for the opening of Emerald Downs' live Thoroughbred meet April 21.

Most NTRA-Member Tracks Hike Jockeys' Insurance

Nine racetracks have increased their minimum on-track accident insurance for jockeys to $500,000 or $1 million since a Nov. 17, 2005 Congressional subcommittee hearing at which lawmakers examined jockey health, welfare, and safety issues.

NTRA Moves on Breeders' Cup, Wagering Integrity

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association, during a Dec. 1 meeting, approved a revised operating and licensing agreement with Breeders' Cup that will last at least one year, and received a report on what could be the first step toward formation of the long-awaited national Office of Wagering Integrity.

Horse Caucus Wants Pari-Mutuel Industry Protected

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.

Internet Gambling Ban Resurfaces on Capitol Hill

The pari-mutuel industry, which has hired legal specialists to deal with the ramifications of a recent World Trade Organization ruling, must now deal with the reincarnation of legislation to effectively ban Internet gambling by making financial transactions illegal.

Wine Ruling Could Impact Account Wagering

A United States Supreme Court ruling that overturned Michigan and New York laws that keep wine produced out of state from being shipped to in-state customers could have implications for account wagering, a National Thoroughbred Racing Association official said.

H-2B Visa Exemption Signed by President

Legislation designed to ease problems caused by a cap on H-2B visas is included in a sweeping appropriations bill President Bush signed May 11, the American Horse Council reported.

Winkfield Honored by House of Representatives

Jimmy Winkfield, an African-American jockey who won back-to-back editions of the Kentucky Derby, has been honored in a resolution passed by the United States House of Representatives May 5.

Jockeys' Guild Responds to Congressional Request

The Jockeys' Guild has responded to a request by a United States Congressional subcommittee related to its management, accounting and oversight of funds, but the information produced by the California-based Guild won't be available until the week of May 10.

NTRA Sees Hope for Legislative Initiatives

The Thoroughbred industry, bolstered by the efforts of its political action committee, has a decent chance to get key legislation passed in Washington, D.C., officials with the National Thoroughbred Racing Association said.

Economic Impact Study to Have More Detail

With a large increase in the number of horse owners that supplied information, a new economic impact study for the horse industry, the first in almost 10 years, is expected to be more statistically reliable than its 1996 counterpart.

NTRA Alters Roles of Some Personnel

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The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has altered the roles of several staff members to reflect priorities for 2005 as well as its long-term strategy, commissioner D.G. Van Clief Jr. said in a Dec. 20 release. The changes take effect Jan. 1.

In Washington, Numbers Made Slots Bad Bet

Voters in Washington state rejected an initiative that would have allowed the expansion of electronic slot machines--only permitted in tribal casinos--to other locations, including Emerald Downs. But a top track official said it's the best thing that could have happened.

XpressBet Approved in Washington

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XpressBet received a license from the Washington Horse Racing Commission to become the second authorized advance deposit wagering provider in the state Oct. 14.

Emerald Sees Upside With Muckleshoot Deal

Emerald Downs is experiencing a boost in daily purses and an extension of its 2005 racing season because of a $1.69-million investment by the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, which owns the land beneath the Auburn, Wash., racetrack and operates a nearby casino.

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