What is Happening in Texas Horse Racing

The Texas Racing Commission formalized its opposition Wednesday to the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, federal anti-doping legislation passed in 2020 which members say will hobble the already beleaguered parimutuel betting industry in Texas.

Texas Racing Commission votes to defy federal anti-doping legislation

    • Texas racing officials have agreed to oppose a new federal anti-doping law, which they say will gut the state’s pari-mutuel betting industry
    • The feds want Texas to pay $371,377 to cover the cost of testing racehorses in the state
    • Racing officials say state law does not allow Texas to pay the feds to do their job
  •  Texas also is participating in a federal challenge to the law in a Lubbock court

HISA, which goes into effect on July 1, would usurp a role the Texas Racing Commission traditionally has played: making sure horses on a racetrack are not doped. According to posted regulations, HISA could delegate animal testing to state racing authorities, but that would not eliminate a $371,377 fee HISA has assessed for Texas.

“This pivotal meeting will consider the response of Texas and the Texas Racing Commission to the federal HISA, which, by terms, seeks to disenfranchise Texas from its essential role in the health and safety of horses and jockeys,” Chair Robert Pate said. “An unintended consequence of HISA—at least in Texas—may be the elimination of all parimutuel wagering and simulcast wager for HISA-covered horses and covered horse racing under the Texas Racing Act.”

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 19-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with Brisnet.com and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of AGameofSkill.com, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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