Update: Texas tracks make plans to resume simulcasts

Update: Texas tracks make plans to resume simulcasts
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

Seven months after Texas tracks were blacked out nationwide from simulcasting, the state's racing commission said it will consider requests from track operators to export wagering signals "only in a manner consistent with Texas law."

The move, announced in a Wednesday letter to the commission's occupational and business licensees, follows Tuesday's ruling by a federal appeals court that the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority is unconstitutional. The court also lifted its stay against a preliminary injunction that prohibited enforcement of HISA rules in Louisiana and Texas.

As a result, the commission wrote, HISA has "no effect on the state of Texas."

Sam Houston Race Park jumped on the opportunity, posting on Twitter Wednesday that it would begin exporting its signal to all locations Friday.

Because the commission does not recognize HISA's authority, Texas tracks in the state had not been allowed to export their simulcast signals to other U.S. markets while the stay was in effect.

The result was a sharp drop in handle for Texas tracks.

For example, in the first two weeks of the Sam Houston Race Park meet that began Jan. 6, handle was down 91.2 percent, according to Equibase, though the figures include seven race days this year versus six last year.

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