To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives,
Pursuant to Article LVI, as amended by Article XC, Section 3 of the Amendments to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I am returning to you for amendment House Bill No. 4365, “An Act Relative to Racing Days.”
I support the provisions of this bill that moderately reduce the number of live horse racing days that venues in Suffolk and Norfolk Counties must host to be able to accept wagers on simulcast horse races. These provisions mirror similar legislation enacted each of the past several years.
However, the legislation also includes a provision that would reduce by 85% the fees paid to the Racing Division of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission on simulcast greyhound wagers. The bill does not provide any replacement for that lost revenue, and the FY15 General Appropriations Act anticipates that the full fees will continue to be paid. Accordingly, the bill would leave the Racing Division nearly $600,000 short of its operating budget this year, and would create an annually recurring shortfall of approximately the same amount. Without adequate funding, I am concerned that the Racing Division will not be able to fulfill its important responsibility of overseeing horse racing (whether live or simulcast) and simulcast greyhound racing.
For this reason, I recommend that House Bill 4365 be amended as follows:
By striking out SECTION 1.
Deval L. Patrick,
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