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Texan Race and Sports Wagering

Texas permits pari-mutuel betting on live and simulcast horse and dog races.

Pari-mutuel wagering first became legal in Texas in 1933, only to be repealed in 1937. Even though the American Quarter Horse Association, one of the largest equine breed registries in the world, was established in 1940 in Texas, it took the state legislature until 1986 to pass the Texas Racing Act. In November 1987, pari-mutuel wagering was legal once again, when voters approved it in a statewide referendum. The Texas Racing Commission (TRC) was created by the Racing Act to regulate the racing industry by licensing racetracks and their employees, overseeing live racing events, and monitoring and certifying wagering transactions.

The Texas-Bred Incentive (TBI) Program was also authorized in the Racing Act to support the horse and greyhound breeding industries. The TBI program granted purse supplements and monetary awards to breeders and owners of Texas-bred greyhounds and horses funded by breakage from all types of wagers. Breakage is the amount available after payoffs to winning ticket holders rounded down to the nearest dime.

Additionally, the Racing Act called for a portion of horse racing wagers to fund equine research. In 1991, the Racing Act was amended to establish a Texas Equine Research Account Advisory Committee (TERAAC) to provide expertise for evaluation of proposals for equine research and to provide a channel for communication among equine scientists and representatives of the horse racing industry. The TERAAC was abolished by the 2011 Sunset legislation making Texas A&M AgriLife Research the sole authority to distribute Equine Research Account funds.

In June 2012, Saddle Brook Park submitted a request to open a temporary location, the Saddle Brook Jockey Club, to conduct simulcast racing. Their request was approved in August. Saddle Brook Park opened its temporary facility for simulcasting on December 13, 2012. The license expired in December 2014 and the Jockey Club says it is looking to build a live racing facility in Amarillo.

Texan Race and Sports Wagering Properties

Gillespie County Fairgrounds
Gulf Greyhound Park
Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie
Retama Park
Sam Houston Race Park
Valley Race Park
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