MD Sports Betting Bill Includes Racetracks, Purse Accounts

Legislation authorizing a study of sports betting, licenses for which would be available to racetrack and casino operators, had its first hearing March 1 before the House Ways and Means Committee.

The bill, sponsored by Republican Delegates Jason Buckel and Kevin Hornberger, was introduced Feb. 8. It would create a task force to study sports betting but also says implementation would hinge upon approval via a statewide constitutional amendment and changes in law on the federal level.

Sports betting in the United States is legal in Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon, and to varying degrees. Any expansion of gambling in Maryland requires a constitutional vote.

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March 2017 Newsletter Available

newsletter2017 3The March 2017 edition of the Horsemen's Newsletter is now online and available for download. To view this edition click herearrow

The Horsemen's Newsletter is published monthly by the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and is mailed to licensed owners and trainers in the state of Maryland.

 

Hogan Weighs In on Results of Pimlico Revitalization Study

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan indicated it could be years before a decision is made on an expensive reconstruction of Pimlico Race Course, home of the Preakness Stakes.

Hogan, who spoke with WBAL radio talk-show host Derek Hunter Feb. 28 about issues such as jobs, ethics reform, and economic development, said the recently released first phase of a Maryland Stadium Authority-ordered study was just a starting point. The study estimates capital improvements at Pimlico would cost roughly $300 million.

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Pimlico Viability Study: The Assessment Has Just Begun

The first phase of a Maryland Stadium Authority study into the viability of Pimlico Race Course continuing as host of the Preakness Stakes and other racing and non-racing events revealed there’s far more work to be done before a decision is made.

And the future of the historic facility apparently lies with “leadership” developing a consensus on how to proceed. The study, however, suggested there is hope that a revitalized Pimlico could be profitable.

The MSA, which is responsible for the Baltimore Orioles’ Camden Yards stadium among other projects, released the report Feb. 24, more than a week before its next board meeting.

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MTHA, MJC Make Condition Book Changes; Maryland Million Adds Bonuses

The MTHA has worked with Maryland Jockey Club officials to make changes in the condition book designed to reduce the number of race categories and give dirt races a better chance of filling when turf racing begins at Laurel Park in early spring.

The MTHA Purse Committee, along with MJC President and General Manager Sal Sinatra and Racing Secretary Georganne Hale, agreed to the following changes that will take effect with the April condition book.

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MRC Report: February 23, 2017

The Maryland Racing Commission has developed statutory language that will allow it to adopt updates and changes to model rules—most recently the one on out-of-competition testing—as they are approved by the Association of Racing Commissioners International.

The MRC, which held its monthly meeting Feb. 23, falls under state Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation. MRC Executive Director Mike Hopkins said the department suggested the commission make written modifications that will allow it to avoid having to repeatedly submit new rules for approval.

“It makes (the process) much simpler,” Hopkins said. “We asked for emergency status while the rule is (reviewed).”

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