Massachusetts Racing Industry Rallies for Hearing

Edited press release

The Massachusetts horse racing industry is taking a day off Sept. 28 to show its support during a hearing in the state House of Representatives on legislation that could impact the industry.

"This is a critical time for Suffolk Downs and the racing industry in this state," Suffolk Downs chief operating officer Bob O'Malley said in a release. "The (New England Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association) feels strongly about having a noticeable presence at this hearing, and canceling the live card will allow it do so."

The union that represents track employees also supports the decision to cancel live racing and attend the hearing.

The Massachusetts legislature's Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure will conduct the hearing at 11 a.m. EDT in the Gardner Auditorium at the State House. Alternative gaming at racetracks is among the issues to be discussed.

"The future of Thoroughbred racing in New England and specifically at Suffolk Downs is at stake," New England HBPA president Mario DeStefano said in a statement.