Animal Group Urges Gambling Venues to Follow NFL Example to Level Playing Field for Bettors, Protect Horses
For Immediate Release:
May 2, 2017
David Perle 202-483-7382
Las Vegas – On the eve of the Thoroughbred racing industry’s highest-profile event of the year, PETA is asking 15 top gambling venues, including Caesars Palace and Bellagio, to release injury reports on all horses entered in the Kentucky Derby.
In letters sent this morning 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—but 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,” says 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.”
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 preexisting 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.
PETA’s 2013 video investigation of trainer Steve Asmussen—who has three horses slated to run in this year’s Derby—revealed that the horse Nehro, who placed second in the 2011 Kentucky Derby, was raced several times on injured feet and had been given a thyroid hormone as a performance enhancer. This information was not made available to bettors.
PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment.” For more information, please visit PETA.org.