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Should the government revive the Racing Board?

  May 22 , 2024
   

The Karnataka Racing Commission, established by the Ramakrishna Hegde Government in 1986, submitted extensive recommendations to address various malpractices in horse racing in Karnataka. These issues had previously led the government to compel the Bangalore Turf Club to amend its Articles of Association, prohibiting racehorse-owning members from becoming stewards. The commission, chaired by Lt Gen K P Candeth included R V Subramniam, IAS, and R J Kolah, Advocate of the Supreme Court, who proposed the creation of a Racing Board. I

In light of the government`s suspension of the Bangalore Turf Club`s license since April 1, due to various irregularities, it may be prudent to revisit the Racing Commission`s recommendations to ensure the smooth conduct of racing, free from vested interests.

The Racing Commission interviewed numerous stakeholders, including racehorse owners, breeders, administrators from other Indian turf clubs, trainers` associations, jockeys` associations, and others involved in horse racing. They concluded that, for the benefit of stakeholders, the government, and the racing public, the best approach would be to manage racing operations by a government-appointed board.

The Commission recommended that the Chairman of the Racing Board should be a serving Civil Servant of the rank of Secretary or a Major General or equivalent defense officer on deputation. The board members would include:

One representative of breeders in Karnataka, selected by the government from a panel of three names submitted by the Breeders` Association.

One representative of owners, selected by the government from a panel of three names submitted by the Karnataka Racehorse Owners Association.

The Finance Commissioner and Secretary to the Government of the Finance Department.

The Secretary to the Government, Home Department.

The Commissioner of Police.

A serving senior Army or Air Force officer stationed in Bangalore.

One member secretary with a background in racing.

The board also has the discretion to co-opt one additional member who, by virtue of their association and background, could be an asset in conducting the club`s affairs.

The Member Secretary of the Board shall be assisted by two Deputy Secretaries with knowledge of race horsemanship. One of the Deputy Secretaries should be prepared to take over as Secretary, when necessary, at which point they can be replaced by another official termed as Assistant Secretary. Three members of the board will constitute the quorum for a meeting. The term of the board shall be three years, with one-third of the members retiring each year, starting after the first three years. This restriction does not apply to the Member Secretary. The Senior Stipendiary Steward will serve as the Racing Consultant for the Karnataka State Racing Board.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE BOARD

Policy Matters: Determining the number of racing days, both on and off course, and managing the engagement and riding of foreign professionals.

Licensing and Employment: Establishing terms and conditions for the licensing of officials, trainers, and jockeys; managing their employment and licensing.

Financial Management: Overseeing the disbursement of profits and handling all taxation matters.

Regulatory Affairs: Managing import licenses, anti-corruption measures, and racecourse security.

Personnel Management: Appointing and dismissing the stipendiary steward and other officials responsible for the conduct of racing.

CONDUCT OF RACES

Races will be conducted by five stewards selected as follows: two members of the Integrity Committee, chosen by the Karnataka State Racing Board from the general public with knowledge of racing, and three Stipendiary Stewards.

Upon the formation of the Racing Board, existing club members will have no role in racing operations. The stands and all other immovable properties belong to the state. The Racing Board will be responsible for taking over land and immovable property from the Bangalore Turf Club.

The authority to manage racing operations will be vested in the Karnataka State Racing Board, except for the power to decide on objections arising from the actual running of any race, which will be handled by the stewards of the meeting for that particular day.

The Karnataka Racing Board will also oversee racing in Mysore, implementing similar arrangements to take over and manage racing there. The Racing Commission recommended that the Bangalore Turf Club and Mysore Race Club Limited be relieved of all responsibilities related to the conduct of racing in Bangalore and Mysore, respectively.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah might seriously consider establishing a Racing Board or appointing an administrator to clean up the racing industry and tackle the myriad issues plaguing the sport. This new body would oversee racing activities and ensure adherence to healthy practices. The current involvement of government-nominated stewards has been ineffective due to their lack of active participation.

 
 
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Total Comments : 2
Posted by Jagadish B on ( May 22 , 2024 )
The best solution. Racing board
 
Posted by Ravi Gowande on ( May 22 , 2024 )
Not only it will solve the problem but will grow racing industry as such. On top of Local state boards a central board can be made which will regulate the whole industry or only one Board on all India basis run by the central government. Same way Gambling Commission or Board can be set up which will regulate betting industry. High GST taxes imposed on betting amount, illegal betting, Owners themselves gambling on their horses win or loose earning money with bookies etc will get settled permanently but looks to be only a dream or fantasy. Big Breeders, Trainers, Owners don`t want common people to be part of racing hence the resistance by the Elite Group of .......
Ravi Gowande
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