The Missouri Horse Racing Commission, which has been "out of commission" for years, has held its first meeting in about a decade. This was kind of a get-acquainted session in which the five members of the panel had a chance to meet with the staff of the State Gaming Commission – under whose umbrella the Horse Racing Commission resides.
Gaming Commission Executive Director Gene McNary, who doubles as Executive Director of the Horse Racing Commission, says the panel’s major action on the first day was to approve a proposal to set up a pair of committees within the Commission – one to look into the possibility of linking horse racing with casino gaming, and the other to expand horse racing at the State Fair in Sedalia.
The idea of linking horse racing and casinos – so-called racinos – is controversial. The only way it could be done without amending the Missouri Constitution would be to have a racetrack within a thousand feet of a casino. The State Constitution only allows casinos along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers.