The race to keep horse racing alive in Texas is on its last leg. The latest battle in the war between the legislature and the industry involves an accusation that Texas is using an unconstitutional maneuver to threaten the viability of racing.

The Texas Tribune’s Ross Ramsey has written about the lawsuit filed by the Texas Horsemen’s Partnership. He says it all began when the legislature gave the racing industry an ultimatum: get rid of “historical racing” rules or we’ll cut your funding.

Historical racing, as it’s called, is when betting companies take data from races already run and strip the competitors of identifying data, like horses’ names, jockeys, and the location of the race. Players then bet on the race using machines that look like slot machines.

“Legislators are afraid that looks like a new form of gambling that they don’t want and they want the racing commission to outlaw it,” Ramsey says. Industry folks want to keep it, Ramsey says, because they say it will help the “hurting” horse-racing industry.

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– What state funding is tied to the Texas Racing Commission?

– Why is the legislature upset about the historical racing rules?

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  • Roger Williams January 13, 2016 at 8:37 am

    The issue of HRTs 8s and was being litigated, when Dan Patrick and Senator Nelson stuck their noses into the issue. The timing and the amounts of contributions to them from the Kickapoo Nation and Tillman Fertitta speaks volumes on their motivation to stop HRTs. They pretend to strong supporters of the Constitution, but the work hard to prevent the Texas Racing Industry from having our day in court. They shoulder all the blame for this criminal treatment.

  • Meleen Hartwig January 12, 2016 at 11:50 am

    The racing industry funds the Texas Racing Commission. The commission is not funded by the State of Texas. If horse/dog racing goes away, the money funding the TRC goes away. The state does not reduce expenses or have the TRC revenue to use for other purposes if racing and the TRC go away, and the state will loose various other tax revenues generated by racing and the businesses and people that racing supports.