Crist: Time to scrap the New York ban on Palm Sunday and Easter racing
Steven Crist argues that New York's ban on horseracing on Palm Sunday and Easter is not only antiquated but unreasonable and should be repealed. The situation is even nuttier now that Aqueduct has a new racino – where it will be business as usual at the casino but no racing or wagering at the track itself.
The prohibition is completely out of step with the rest of the country and discriminates against New York horseplayers. Those two Sundays happen to be the closing days of two major meetings – Fair Grounds and Gulfstream Park – which have mandatory payouts of jackpot bets scheduled for two days New Yorkers would be shut out of those pools.
“Every racing entity in the state is in favor of racing on Palm and Easter Sundays, and no one can argue with a straight face that lotto and slots are okay on those occasions but racing horses would be sinful,” writes Crist. “Still, no politician has been willing to sponsor a change, fearful of angering a tiny number of religious zealots who would accuse them of launching a War on Palm Sunday.”