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  • Horse Racing Monopoly to End in Cyprus

    Nicosia Race ClubThe Finance Ministry of Cyprus has again been called upon by several members of the parliament to immediately set up a new law to regulate horse racing. Presently, horse racing in Cyprus is a monopoly that is being run by Nicosia Race Club and it does not have any competitors. The letter given by Member of Parliament Aristos Damianou has asked Harris Georgiades, who is the minister of finance, to explain why a new legislation has not been framed as yet to regularize horse racing.

    Response of Finance Ministry to the query

    The finance ministry gave a late response to this query in which it was stated that though “new bill is top priority” a draft about horse racing cannot be drawn up at this point of time as uniform European law for gambling has still not been implemented in the island. The European Commission, around two years ago, had sent letters to several nations of the EU asking them about gambling laws in their respective countries that restricted specific gambling services. During that time the Commission expressed concern that Cyprus’s laws were outdated when compared to other nations in the Union. Cypriot Gambling Laws have to undergo several changes to allow multiple operators to offer their services.

    About horse racing in Cyprus

    The Nicosia Horse Race Club is the only organizer of horse races in Cyprus that also accept bets made on the races. The race club of Nicosia is managed by a Special Committee that has elected members that are chosen once in three years. The club conducts all races at the Nicosia Racecourse that is located in Ayios Dometios. While the club organizes most horse races on Sundays to allow maximum patronage, during good weather days races are held on Wednesdays too. During some seasons the races are conducted on Saturdays and Wednesdays. Unscheduled horse races are held during major religious and government holidays as well.

  • Idaho Tribes’ Leaders Try to Limit Racing Machines

    A new slot game, which is gaining popularity in Idaho, may soon face closure, if the leaders of Idaho Indian Tribes have their way. The controversy is around “Instant Racing” video slot machines, which show videos of last few minutes of old horse races after deleting all identification marks from horses and riders so players cannot identify them and bid on race outcome. The slot game has started a strong debate between Idaho’s Indian tribes and owners of horse racetracks, which are trying to make some money through these games as traditional pari-mutuel racing is declining rapidly in the region. “Horse Racing” slot machines that opened for the first time in Idaho during second quarter of 2014 in Les Bois Park racetrack have managed to rake in wagers worth $40 million within seven months, helping the owners to report profits after years of losses.horse-slot-machine

     Opposition from Indian Tribes

    These machines are facing stiff opposition from largest Indian tribes of Idaho which are Coeur d’ Alene, Kootenai, Shoshone-Bannock and Shoshone Paiute. They have managed to introduce legislation in Idaho Senate for repeal of the previous act which legalized these machines and also for prohibition of all these “instant racing” machines located in Boise’s Les Bois Park horserace track. They will now seek another bill to limit gaming across three racetracks in the state as these machines do not support pari-mutuel wagering and threaten tribal gaming.

    Action proposed by tribal leaders

    Besides sending a letter to Idaho Governor “Butch” Otter requesting for an immediate prohibition of these games, several prominent non-Indian mayors, community leaders and sheriffs have opposed these machines calling them ‘Vegas style video slot machines posing as horse racing tracks’. The leaders stated that this “illegal slot machines” will put the operations of gaming parlors run by Coeur d’Alene tribe in Northern Idaho which employ 2000 in jeopardy. As these gaming businesses give millions of dollars every year as donations to support community healthcare needs and manage transport infrastructure in the region the new “racing machines” would put a large section of local economy at risk.

  • History of the World’s Richest Horse Race – The Dubai World Cup

    With the 2014 edition of the Dubai World Cup fast approaching, this is a good time to look at the history of the world’s richest thoroughbred horse race.

    The Dubai World Cup is the feature race on Dubai’s World Cup Night of Races. The race is traditionally help on the last Saturday of March and carries a purse of $10 million USD. The race is run at 2,000 meters. All colts and horses carry a weight of 57 KG while fillies and mares carry 54.5 KG for the sex allowance. From 1996 through 2009, the race was run on dirt at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse. In 2010, the Meyden Racecourse became the official site of the Dubai World Cup. Meyden is located in the Emirate of Dubai, United Arab Emirates where they use an artificial surface called Tapeta.

    Dubai World Cup 2014

    Race Facts:

    • First winner – Cigar (1996)
    • Fastest time 1996-2009 – Dubai Millennium (2000) 1.59.50
    • Fastest time 2010-2013 – Monterosso (2012) 2.02.67
    • Most wins by a trainer – Saeed bin Suroor (5)
    • Most wins by a jockey – Jerry Bailey (4)
    • Most wins by an owner – Godolphin Racing (5)
    • Victories by continent based on breeding – USA (9), Europe (6), South America (2), Asia (1)

    The Dubai World Cup has truly become an international event. Runners from all over the converge on Meyden each year in hopes of claiming the mythical title of “Best Horse in the World.” The nine race card features seven Group 1s and two Group 2 races on grass and Tapeta going both short and long. In 18 years, it has become one of the most popular nights of racing.