When you sign-up through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more >

Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, Passes in US House of Representatives 

Written by: Larry Gibbs
Updated October 19, 2022
4 min read
Horseracing Integrity And Safety Act
  • Bill’s overwhelming support & passage will ensure the necessary safety for all racehorses
  • Outlined rules will be adopted akin to US Olympic standards
  • Horse racing bettors will also reap assurance of improved integrity and confidence

Following six years of legislative effort, Congressmen Paul D. Tonko and Andy Barr’s bipartisan national horse racing reform bill, H.R. 1754, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, passed the US House of Representatives on Tuesday. The long-awaited bill would designate the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority to design and implement uniform national horse racing medication and racetrack safety standards.

Congressman Tonko said:

Our Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act puts the health and well-being of our equine athletes and jockeys firmly at the center of the sport, and delivers commonsense medication and track safety standards that will lift this noble sport to higher standards of integrity and safety. These long-overdue reforms will help restore public trust in the sport and put it on a path to a long and vital future, supporting countless jobs and driving economic activity in communities across our nation. I thank my longtime collaborator and friend, Congressman Barr, for leading with me in this effort to restore integrity to this sport of kings. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to advance their companion legislation without delay and deliver it swiftly to the President to sign into law.

The Catalyst for the Cause

Hundreds of horses have broken down during races each year in the US resulting in nearly ten fatalities per week over the past five years, according to The Jockey Club’s equine injury database. That number excludes fatalities that occur during training responsibilities. An overreliance on performance-enhancing drugs has contributed to this staggering death toll. one that far exceeds that of other racing jurisdictions around the world.

The recent federal indictments of 27 trainers and veterinarian, “all involved in the cruel and systematic doping of racehorses,” according to US Attorney Geoffrey Berman has further underscored the culture of drug use that permeates professional horseracing and the dire need for reform. One of the leading trainers at Penn National Race Course testified in US federal court, “almost everybody” dopes their horses in order to win, I would estimate “95% to 98%.”

The New Rules

The bill will establish the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority, a private and independent organization that would be responsible for implementing anti-doping medication and racetrack safety programs. The new drug control program would be enforced by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), the same entity appointed to handle drug testing for all US Olympic athletes.

The authority would also be responsible for:

  • Implementing, publishing, and enforcing uniform rules regarding drugs and medications administered to thoroughbred racehorses.
  • Establishing uniform and consistent punishments for cheaters who violate the rules and risk racehorses’ safety; and
  • Establishing uniform racetrack safety regulations, including more oversight of racetrack surfaces.

The Authority will be governed by a Board of Directors consisting of nine members. Five of those members will be independent of the industry, and four members will be experts from the following sectors of the industry: owners and breeders, trainers, racetracks, veterinarians, state racing commissions, and jockeys. Assisting with the development of these programs, the Board will establish an anti-doping and medication control standing committee and a racetrack safety standing committee, both controlled by independent members outside the industry. All independent members of the Board and standing committees will be subject to strict conflict-of-interest standards.

A Big Win for All

Most obviously, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act was instituted and primarily acted upon for the necessary safety, health, and welfare of all horses participating in the sport.  However, thoroughbred racing is and has always been for decades a wagering sport. It also importantly reinforces integrity in the minds of the betting public that all entries remain in every race on a level and fair playing surface. The outstanding benefits should be evident immediately on the track.

Image for Larry Gibbs

Larry Gibbs

Gambling Industry Analyst

Gambling News
Larry Gibbs is both a seasoned journalist and a respected online gaming industry consultant. His wry commentary & sharp analysis have appeared in numerous top gaming and sports wagering publications. He has also served as Vice President of US Gaming Services, a marketing research organization with 15 years of experience in US online wagering. He has spoken at noted gaming industry conferences including G2E, GiGSE, and NCLGS.
Nationality: American
Education: N/A
Favourite Sportsbook: bet365 Sportsbook
Favourite Casino: Party Casino
17 years
We've been featured on:
espn logo
reuters logo
cbs-news logo
forbes logo
entrepreneur logo
entrepreneur logo
We only list licensed sportsbooks

© Rebel Penguin ApS 2024 (a subsidiary of Gaming Innovation Group Inc.)

We support responsible gambling. 21+ Only. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-Gambler.

WSN.com is run by iGaming Cloud Inc (a Gaming Innovation Group Subsidiary) and is registered with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) under affiliate vendor ID 89744, with the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) under certificate of registration number SWR-000148, approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board as a gaming service provider, under certificate registration number 117656-1, possesses a Vendor Minor sports betting license from the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (account number 94414163), granted a vendor registration number VR007603-20-001 by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, an interim Sports Wagering Supplier license, under license number SWS 066, issued by the West Virginia Lottery Commission, a sports betting vendor registration, under registration number #100400, issued by the Director of Gaming Licensing and Investigations of the Virginia Lottery to operate in the State of Virginia, and a Vendor Registration issued by the Sports Wagering Committee of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation.

Advertising disclosure: WSN contains links to online retailers on its website. When people click on our affiliate links and make purchases, WSN earns a commission from our partners, including ESPN and various sportsbooks.