Boston, MA - Live horse racing has been a cherished, competitive event in the Northeast since this area was known as the 'American Colonies.' The earliest race venue was founded in 1665 on Long Island in Hempstead Plains. It was named Newmarket after a well-known site in England. Now, Massachusetts may have just unintentionally banned the racing sport, due to a lapse in the law which explicitly allowed for it.
Scheduled live horse racing and simulcast events were scheduled to take place this week in Plainridge and East Boston. However, Beacon Hill lawmakers may have allowed the beloved sport of horse racing to be banned. In turn, the scheduled races may have to be postponed or even canceled entirely.
As of July 31st, the state law allowing live horse races to occur has expired. As the last day of the lawmaker’s sessions for the year was on July 31, 2018, going forward to re-legalize horse races may be quite the battle. The bill looking to pass the legal rights of horse racing was ‘lost in the shuffle’ towards the end of the lawmaker’s session. The bill was not taken into consideration until after it was too late.
Due to the law not being renewed, live horse racing and simulcast horse racing are now banned in the state of Massachusetts as of August 1, 2018. With the Plainridge Casino races coming up this Thursday, and the Suffolk Downs races coming up this Saturday, those working in both races are unsure if the events will go on.
If the lawmakers are unable to change the circumstances, hundreds of people may be losing their jobs this week. Employees are being notified now of the upcoming tragedy and officials in charge are trying their hardest to weigh out the best options for the situation at hand. According to the Suffolk Downs Chief Operating Officer Chip Tuttle, there are hundreds of people and hundreds of horses on their way to the Plainridge Casino for the live horse racing events.
As of now, lawmakers have an informal session regarding the matter scheduled for this Thursday morning. If the situation is not settled and made legal again, Tuttle says that over 90 simulcast employees will lose their jobs and over 200 live race workers will be laid off from work. All officials and employees are holding out for positive information to come their way tomorrow afternoon.