The ITHA and the ITBOF’s Position on the Protection of Live Racing Posted On:Oct 17, 2011 | Posted By:Glen
The very heart of the ITHA and ITBOF commitment to our over 5,000 members is to safeguard racing opportunities to Thoroughbreds racing in Cook and Madison Counties.
Recent events regarding occupational licensee attempts to contract racing dates makes the horsemen that much more protective of these opportunities.
It is with this knowledge that the ITHA played a significant role in demanding that these opportunities be held sacred to insure the support of horsemen associations of SB 744.
The following is the actual language that appears in SB 744. The ITHA recently negotiated with the Illinois Racing Board (IRB) for days on this issue to protect and refine this statute to insure races and growth of the Thoroughbred industry of Illinois.
Language Relative to Protection of Thoroughbred Racing Opportunity
“In awarding racing dates for calendar year 2012 and thereafter, the Board shall award racing dates and the organization licensees shall run at least 2,500 thoroughbred races at Cook County race tracks and 700 thoroughbred races at a race track in Madison County each year, unless the Board determines that a lesser schedule of racing days and/or races is necessary to ensure the integrity of racing, or the Board concludes that the horse population is insufficient to provide racing opportunities consistent with the best interest of the public or the sport of horse racing. In awarding racing dates under this subsection (e-2), the Board shall have the discretion to allocate those racing dates among organization licensees.
Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 7.6 of the Illinois Gambling Act, for each calendar year for which an electronic gaming licensee requests a number of live racing days under its organization license that is less than the number of days of live racing awarded in 2009 for its race track facility, the electronic gaming licensee may not conduct gaming for the calendar year of such requested racing days. The number of days of live racing may be adjusted, on a year by year basis, because of weather or unsafe track conditions due to the acts of God or an agreement between the organization licensee and the association representing the largest number of owners, trainers, or standardbred drivers who race horses at that organization licensee’s racing meeting.”
As President of the ITHA I wish to express my gratitude to Dan Sullivan for his support on this issue and particularly thank Executive Director Glen Berman for his relentless pursuit of fairness and justice on behalf of the horsemen of Illinois.