ARCI releases assessment report examining HISA programs

By: Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association

Posted: Nov. 30, 2023

The Association of Racing Commissioners International in October released what it calls a “non-partial assessment and analysis” of the activities of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority’s Racetrack Safety and Anti-Doping and Medication Control programs.

The report is available here. The following appears at the beginning of the report.

“Depending on who one speaks to, HISA has been a tremendous success or a costly disaster. It is a tremendous success in that there are uniform rules and common drug testing points of regulatory action. Everyone agreed this was needed. For those struggling to pay increased regulatory fees or who face a loss of business because a venue may cease or reduce Thoroughbred racing opportunities for whatever reason, HISA may be regarded as a costly disaster.

“The creation of two new entities, HISA and the Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit, come with a cost. The proposed 2024 HISA budget is $80,967,416. State funding and resources are estimated to be $18,740,635 next year, meaning that HISA’s assessment of the Thoroughbred industry will be reduced to $59,846,163. This is a significant investment and the Thoroughbred industry will ultimately assess if the results have been worth the price paid. The ARCI takes no position on this only to note that some states have already opted to not provide any resources or funding for HISA. In the coming years more state policymakers may limit the ability of their racing commission to provide public resources or funding to assist this private entity. These states may emulate sports betting regulatory policy where the states do not fund a sport’s integrity or participant safety programs.

“The purpose of this assessment is to present information. Any safety or enforcement program can only be assessed by the results. After one year of HISA’s equine and Racetrack Safety Program and six months of the Anti-Doping and Medication Control Program, there are some solid results to be digested.”