On July 1, the first round of new regulations are scheduled to go into effect as a result of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA). HISA will seek to bring about the uniformity in medication, testing, and safety regulation and enforcement which so many in the racing industry have asked for in recent decades.
As the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority fights multiple lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the new organization, it remains to be seen when, whether, and how it will implement new rules. It has been made clear by those working for the Authority so far that it will not be a night-to-day change between June 30 and July 1, 2022, especially since the Anti-Doping and Medication Control Program will not go into effect until Jan. 1, 2023. There will also be a phase-in process for its Racetrack Safety Program, which in many ways will seek to codify best practices suggested by the NTRA’s Safety and Integrity Alliance and the Association of Racing Commissioners International.
Assuming the Authority is able to bring about this change, there are a few jurisdictions and racetracks that will be in for a rude awakening. In this series, we take a look at where American racing stands now with key parts of the new regulations. What do we know about the history behind new rules? How have some states fared after implementing safety rules voluntarily? What has stopped some jurisdictions from adopting these changes on their own?