Comments On Track Operating Subsidy Bill

Published: March 31, 2011 11:37 am EDT

"I think the message is very clear -- that the horse racing industry as a whole has to come up with some type of sustainable plan in the short-term because now their back's against the wall."

The above quote is from Maryland Racing Commission Executive Director J. Michael Hopkins, in regard to the fact that in order to get the state of Maryland to subsidize day-to-day operations at the racetracks, the raceways operators will be on the hook to submit business plans and open their financial books to a nine-member state panel that will oversee financial operations.

Hopkins' comments come via a report by WBALTV, which also cited remarks by Maryland Jockey Club President Tom Chuckas as saying that the tracks are willing to step up to the plate.

"We're OK with that," Chuckas said in regard to the state requirements. "We'll provide the plans. We'll do what we have to do, we'll continue to work with the Legislature, and we'll move this."

The report also explains that the bill, which is before a Senate committee, prevents the tracks from spending state money on lobbying, lawsuits and efforts to secure a slots license for the tracks.

(With files from WBALTV)

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