Texas Racing Commission Votes to Publish Rules for Pari-Mutuel Wagering on Historical Horse Races to Texas Register

(Austin, Texas - Wednesday, June 11, 2014) - On June 10th, draft rules were considered by the Texas Racing Commission (TxRC) which would allow the implementation and regulation of pari-mutuel wagering on historical races. The Commissioners voted to publish the rules in the Texas Register for a period of 30 days in order to receive public comment.

Every horse and greyhound organization in Texas, along with each licensed racetrack, support the proposed rules. Allowing pari-mutuel wagers, using the technology known as “Historical Racing Terminals”, would be beneficial to Texas horse racing. 

How does historical racing work?

Wagers are made on a modified pari-mutuel terminal. This is not a slot machine. The historical racing terminal does not pick the winner, and a patron does not bet against the “house”. Actual horse races, previously run at licensed pari-mutuel tracks, are displayed on the terminal, with official handicapping information and race results. The screen displays actual races and not computer graphics of imaginary races.

Similar to live racing, a degree of skill or judgment is involved in picking the winners. Additionally, just like live racing, the outcome depends of the skill and knowledge of the trainers, jockeys and horses in the race.

In Kentucky and Arkansas, where they currently offer pari-mutuel wagering on historical races, it has increased the fan base for live racing, while at the same time increasing the size of purses and breeder awards.

Kentucky implemented historical racing in 2011, and since that time, the state has seen over $5.7 million generated for purses from a handle of $636 million wagered on the terminals.

Our best projections, based on other states who have implemented this technology, show that we could see a 30-40% increase in purse levels at our Texas racetracks.

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