Why Texas Horse Racers Could Lose State Funding By March

The state has threatened to cut horse-racing money based on a new type of gambling.

By Hady MawajdehJanuary 11, 2016 9:56 am

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?