A report by a New York state legislative panel is issuing a warning signal to the state's racing industry to embrace deep, structural reforms or face a continuing erosion of its fan base.
The New York Racing Association can give free track passes to relatives of owners, trainers and jockeys, under legislation that has been given final approval by the state Legislature.
A measure to encourage the operation of video lottery terminals at several big racetracks in New York, including the New York Racing Association's Aqueduct track, collapsed Aug. 12 in Albany amid industry infighting, political intrigue and head-butting among powerful lobbyists.
With scandals at the New York Racing Association having left a string of criminal convictions over the past couple years, the chairman of the Senate racing committee has proposed legislation to tighten state law to ensure convicted felons cannot obtain racing licenses in New York.
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