Out-of-state simulcasting to resume at Sam Houston Race Park

Out-of-state simulcasting to resume at Sam Houston Race Park

A monthslong blackout of out-of-state simulcasting of racing at Sam Houston Race Park has ended. The blackout resulted from a standoff between the Texas Racing Commission and the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority.

HISA was created to provide nationwide oversight of the racing industry and develop guidelines for owners, trainers, jockeys, and racetracks that would be universally enforced across the nation in an effort to improve safety and add transparency to the sport.

Citing a ruling by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals that found the legislation that created HISA to be unconstitutional, the Texas Racing Commission has approved new contracts that will allow simulcasting in out-of-state locations that will take effect on Feb 1.

The Texas Racing Commission had refused to acknowledge the authority of HISA, stating that Texas state law requires the commission to oversee and regulate horse racing in Texas; therefore, any participation by HISA would violate state law.

The controversy began on July 1, 2022, when HISA-approved regulations were set to take effect. The Texas Racing Commission refused to approve simulcasting contracts that would include HISA regulation. Sam Houston has lost a large percentage of handle this season because off-track betting has been impossible because of the impasse between the two governing bodies. This decline in access for bettors has lost Sam Houston Race Park a large percentage of expected dollars in revenue.

According to officials, the Sam Houston signal should be available for other markets when live racing resumes this Friday.

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