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Friday, April 23, 2010

National HBPA Racing Compact Study Group Examining Merits of an Interstate Racing and Wagering Compact

An effort is underway to enact an interstate racing and wagering compact that would help standardize the rules across jurisdictional borders - something that, in theory, would benefit all horsemen and women who race their horses in more than one jurisdiction. The National HBPA formed a National Racing Compact (NRC) Study Group last December to participate in and study the effort to enact such a national racing compact and determine whether the directions of the effort will indeed create a compact that would be beneficial for horsemen throughout the U.S. while still leaving local jurisdictions and horsemen's groups with a sufficient amount of input in the rule making process and the ability to easily opt out of any rules that jurisdiction felt were inappropriate for its local racing industry.

The National HBPA National Racing Compact Study Group is made up of top legal and legislative members of our association and its affiliates. The group includes National HBPA General Counsel Doug McSwain, Deputy General Counsel Peter Ecabert, Virginia HBPA Executive Director Frank Petramalo, Arkansas HBPA President Bill Walmsley, and Louisiana HBPA Legal Counsel Jim Gelpi. Since December, the group has met several times with members of the NRC Steering Committee and other horsemens’ groups.

New York has led the charge for a compact, having devised the concept and elicited the initial interest of the NTRA, The Jockey Club, and Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI).

Pari-mutuel racing is currently legal in 38 U. S. states, and each of those states has its own sets of rules and laws that regulate racing in its jurisdiction. For years, this has created a difficult situation for horsemen who run horses in multiple jurisdictions - having to try to stay current on the different rules (and any changes to those rules) in every jurisdiction in which they race.

In the recent Spring 2010 issue of The Horsemen's Journal, there was an extensive article on the national racing compact issue. Click here to read the article.

Additionally, click here to see a flowchart of proposed National Racing Compact rule making process.

At its summer convention that will be held in Minneapolis, MN from July 21-25, the National HBPA will present a detailed forum on the proposed National Racing Compact. This forum will give both supporters and opponents of an NRC an opportunity to be heard, and it will give National HBPA affiliate representatives and members and National HBPA Board Members the chance to ask their own questions.

Also at its summer convention, the National HBPA Board of Directors is expected to vote on a formal National HBPA position regarding the NRC.

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