Sen. Damon Thayer

Sen. Damon Thayer

Anne M. Eberhardt

Kentucky Hearing Set for Racing Compact Bill

Legislation authorizing an interstate racing compact will be heard in Kentucky.

Legislation authorizing Kentucky to join the proposed National Racing Compact is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Committee on State and Local Government Feb. 9.

The interstate compact, among other things, is designed to establish rule-making procedures in an attempt to foster uniformity in the pari-mutuel industry. The Kentucky bill would allow the compact to charge fees and would establish rights and responsibilities of member states.

The compact would take effect only when six states pass legislation. Other major racing states are considering action, which has been slow to materialize even though the compact has support from organizations such as the Association of Racing Commissioners International and National Thoroughbred Racing Association.

“It’s my hope the bill enjoy broad bipartisan support, and that we’ll get it out of the Senate,” said Kentucky Sen. Damon Thayer, who chairs the Committee on State and Local Government. “Hopefully politics won’t intercede, but you never know.”

The Kentucky bill was written based on recommendations from a working group. Thayer said Kentucky Horse Racing Commission executive director Lisa Underwood, a member of the group, will testify during the Feb. 9 hearing.