Horse Racing

Friday Show Presented By Pegasus World Cup At Gulfstream Park: Racing’s Social License To Operate




Racetracks are licensed by the state, as are owners, trainers and many others employed in the horse racing industry throughout the United States. There is yet another license required for racing, but this is one you can’t put in your wallet or hang on a wall.

In this week’s edition of the Friday Show, Paulick Report publisher Ray Paulick and bloodstock editor Joe Nevills discuss that relatively new and somewhat nebulous license, one known as a “social license to operate.” In brief, an SLO amounts to a business or industry’s ability to exist through the approval by the general public of its standards and practices.

The term came up most recently in the ongoing hearing called by the New York Racing Association against Bob Baffert for his recent medication violations. An expert witness called by NYRA said an industry’s social license to operate may be impacted when someone as high-profile as Baffert is associated with what the general public believes is the drugging or deaths of horses.

Racing is far from being the only sport or industry whose social license to operate is being scrutinized by both animal rights extremists but also by many in the general public. Greyhound racing lost its social license to operate in numerous states and is now virtually out of business in the U.S. Football’s social license to operate has been called into question in recent years because of head injuries to players, but the sport evolved in response to social pressure and is thriving.

Can horse racing do the same thing?

Watch this week’s Friday Show presented by the Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park.





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