SB 1340 (Seliger) now carried by Representative Tracy King in the House, is on the calendar to be considered in the House tomorrow (May 21). Please contact your State Representative to ask for support of this bill.
SB 1340 is a simple change to the current Texas Racing Act. It allows licensed but yet un-built horse racetracks in our state to offer pre-opening simulcasting for a period of time not to exceed six years before they begin live horse racing. The current statutory limit for this pre-opening simulcasting is only two years.
This bill does NOT expand the footprint of gaming in Texas; it does NOT authorize new forms of gaming, and does NOT authorize new racetrack locations. It is simply an extension of an existing authority previously granted by the legislature.
By offering pre-opening simulcasting for a number of years, licensed but yet un-built horse racetracks can prove a consistent and reliable revenue stream to potential lenders. In today’s banking and financial environment, this proven source of consistent revenue has become a requirement to secure reasonable financing for the construction of a $10 million to $20 million horse racetrack facility.
By passage of SB 1340, the legislature will also provide for the generation of several million dollars in incremental purse money and breeders awards each year that our horse industry currently does not have, and desperately needs. It will be a very positive step to assisting our state’s horse racing and breeding industries to move toward competitiveness with our neighboring states.
This is a pro-business, economic development bill that also helps agriculture and the horse industry in Texas.