Pennsylvania Commission Resigns From RCI

The Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission has become the second regulatory agency in a month to resign its membership in the Association of Racing Commissioners International.

In a letter sent to RCI chairman Dennis Lee and copied to RCI president Tony Chamblin, commissioner Richard Abbott said members of the Pennsylvania commission voted unanimously to leave the RCI. Abbott also resigned from the RCI board of directors.

In his letter, Abbott said the commission hopes "one day it will be possible to achieve the reunification of all pari-mutuel regulatory organizations into a cohesive, progressive, and universally beneficial body. However, we regrettably have come to the conclusion that this cannot be accomplished through (RCI)."

The Virginia Racing Commission, following an RCI board meeting Dec. 7 in Tucson, Ariz., announced its plans to resign. Officials predicted then that regulatory agencies in other states would follow suit. At that meeting, members voted to allow Chamblin to finish out the final two years of his three-year contract, albeit with a reduction in salary and benefits.

In 1997, the mass defection of jurisdictions from the RCI led to creation of the North American Pari-Mutuel Regulators Association.