Simulcasting and live horse racing in Massachusetts have been shut down – temporarily, officials hope – after enabling legislation expired on July 31, according to published reports.
A bill that would have renewed legalized wagering on live and simulcast races was never enacted before lawmakers went home Aug. 1. The bill passed the Senate and House but dit not receive a required procedural vote, according to reports.
Suffolk Downs in East Boston announced on Twitter it was not able to open for simulcasting on Wednesday. The track had scheduled live racing for this weekend.
Suffolk Downs regrets that we will not be able to offer simulcasting today, August 1, as the laws authorizing racing and simulcasting in Massachusetts expired on 7/31.
— Suffolk Downs (@SuffolkDowns) August 1, 2018
“It looks like hundreds of peoples’ jobs fell victim to the clock here,” Chip Tuttle, chief operating officer of Suffolk Downs, told WGBH public radio on Wednesday morning. “We’ll get up in the morning, notify our employees and look at our options but they seem pretty dire for now. We literally have hundreds of people and hundreds of horses scheduled to ship in for the weekend for live racing.”
Tuttle told WGBH he is hopeful lawmakers will address the issue during what is anticipated to be a lightly attended informal session on Thursday.
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