Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas
Lone Star Park owner Global Gaming LSP LLC is among four plaintiffs that filed a lawsuit in Texas challenging the constitutionality of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority.
The suit, filed July 29 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Amarillo Division, is the fourth effort to derail the Authority, created through the December 2020 Congressional passage of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act.
A previous federal suit filed in Texas and a separate suit filed in Kentucky were dismissed by District Court judges and are under appeal. A third lawsuit, filed in Louisiana in June, led to a federal judge to issue an injunction barring the Authority from enforcing its regulations in Louisiana and West Virginia. That injunction is being appealed by HISA.
The latest filing was submitted by four entities, including the Chickasaw Nation’s Global Gaming, owner of Remington Park racetrack and casino in Oklahoma City, Okla., and Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie.
Lone Star Park was ordered by the Texas Racing Commission to cease interstate simulcasting of its live races after HISA went into effect July 1, effectively freeing the track from having to follow HISA regulations. According to reports, wagering on Lone Star’s races fell by more than 80 percent as a result.
The other three plaintiffs are:
-Gulf Coast Racing LLC, which operated a defunct greyhound racetrack in Corpus Christi and claims it is working with the Texas Racing Commission to re-designate its license as a Class 2 horseracing track. It currently offers simulcast wagering.
– LRP Group Ltd., which claims to be working toward operating a racetrack in South Texas. LRP Group held a license to operate Laredo Downs as long ago as 2008 but is inactive.
-Valle De Los Tesoros Ltd., which claims to be working toward operating a racetrack in McAllen. It applied for racing dates in 2009 and is inactive.
The suit claims that the three non-operating tracks have had business plans “stymied due to HISA’s implementation and the regulatory chaos and confusion that has resulted.”
It’s not clear what breed of horses Laredo and Valle De Los Tesoros would run if they were to seek racing dates. HISA Authority rules only apply to Thoroughbreds.
The latest suit alleges the creation of HISA is unconstitutional on many levels, from the appointment of a board of directors to the creation of regulations by a non-government entity, and violations of Seventh Amendment right to a fair trial and Fourth Amendment privacy rights.
Several of the allegations appear to overlap segments of previously dismissed lawsuits.
Calling the role of the Federal Trade Commission, which oversees HISA, “essentially ministerial,” the suit claims that if HISA is allowed to stand, Congress will have created “a new branch altogether, a sort of junior varsity Congress.”
The suit asks for preliminary and permanent injunctions prohibiting enforcement of HISA regulations.
A HISA spokesperson issued the following statement in response to the latest litigation: “HISA will defend itself in court while the Authority’s focus remains on implementing the Racetrack Safety program and finalizing Anti-Doping and Medication Control rules for implementation in January 2023. The majority of racing participants support HISA’s mission to protect those who play by the rules and hold those who fail to do so accountable in order to keep our equine and human athletes safe and the competition fair. The immense collaboration with state racing commissions, stewards, veterinarians, racetracks, trainers, and other horsemen that has taken place to date is evidence of this support, and we intend to continue to fulfill our mandate and work to make the industry safer.”