LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – It’s a horse race once a year and it literally lasts about two minutes. But a popular animal rights group believes Las Vegas sportsbooks should level the playing field.
On the eve of the thoroughbred racing industry’s highest-profile event The Kentucky Derby, PETA is asking 15 top gambling venues in Sin City, including Caesars Palace and Bellagio, to release injury reports on all horses entered in the Kentucky Derby.
In letters sent to MGM Grand, Bellagio, Caesars Palace, Golden Nugget, Rio, Westgate, Treasure Island, Wynn, The Mirage, Red Rock, Mandalay Bay, The Venetian, South Point, Harrah’s and ARIA, PETA points out that sportsbooks that simulcast horse races are regulated under the Interstate Horse Racing Act. However, PETA believe their failure to disclose injuries and medication records, aside from the race-day drug Lasix, is unfair to bettors.
“Unlike the NFL, which issues injury reports, there’s no policy in horse racing that requires the disclosure of such critical information,” said PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “This lack of transparency unfairly impacts bettors as only select industry insiders know the physical problems of the horses. The general betting public is kept in the dark,” said Guillermo.
Full disclosure of medication and injury records for the month leading up to the Kentucky Derby would also be a significant step in protecting horses from being dangerously medicated and raced with pre-existing injuries. Research supported by the racing industry shows that this is the biggest risk factor for fatal breakdown. More than 1,000 Thoroughbreds die or are euthanized following catastrophic injuries on racetracks every year.