Massachusetts Outlaws Horse Racing by Accident
Massachusetts seems to have outlawed Horse Racing this week, although it does not appear the move was intentional. The state’s legislature adjourned earlier this week, however, there was one important item of business they never got around to. For some reason, the legislature did not renew the laws that allowed the state’s two horse racetracks to operate.
Massachusetts Fails to Pass Bill in Time
The state’s legislature adjourned on the 31st of July after the regular annual session was complete. Before the end, lawmakers were rushing to approve bills and pass them onto the governor. However, somehow, they seem to have overlooked House Bill 4809. This is the bill that would have allowed horse racing betting and simulcast wagering to continue for another 12 months in Massachusetts.
However, because the bill was not approved, horse racing betting became illegal as of the 1st of August. There is nothing to suggest that this was intentional, but rather an error. Both of the state’s horse racetracks have had to suspend operations.
Still Hope for Massachusetts Horse Racing?
Lawmakers are scheduled to meet for an informal session later this week. However, major policymaking decisions don’t tend to happen during these informal sessions. Formal sessions will only recommence in January 2019. House bill 4809 had been read and ‘passed to be engrossed’. This means that it had been passed to be printed on parchment before returning for final voting. So, it is still possible that it could be passed in an informal session.
Suffolk Down, one of the horse racetrack, is set to hold an event on the weekend of 4-5 August. There are hundreds of horses scheduled to race. However, the venue has said that if the state cannot find some way to renew the bill, the event will have to be called off. In addition, 200 people who were scheduled to work at the event will lose out of money.