Two bills pertaining to horse racing in the U.S. Virgin Islands cleared an important first hurdle and will now head to the Committee on Rules and Judiciary to be voted on.
The Virgin Islands Consortium reports one of the bills would establish a single racing commission office in the territory. Currently, St. Thomas and St. Croix have separate racing commissions.
The second bill would establish tougher anti-doping measures for horses that compete in the territory. According to the Consortium, the new bill would not allow horses that are banned in the U.S. to be imported into the territory. It also would prohibit the use of electrical devices – such as batteries – to be used horses.
“Doping and the indiscriminate or inappropriate use of medications are detrimental not only to the integrity of the sport but also to the health, welfare, and safety of the racehorses, who cannot refuse such maltreatment, and the jockeys who ride them,” said Terri Griffiths, one of the attorneys who drafted the anti-doping measure.
“If the USVI does not implement anti-doping regulation, we will not attract stateside competitors,” Griffiths continued. “The casino development is attractive because it should provide an additional tourism product via the improvement of the horse racing industry. Standing alone – neither slot machines or VLT gambling is going to attract new tourism dollars. Without anti-doping regulation, the stateside horse racing industry visitors will not come.”
Read more in The Virgin Islands Consortium
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