Interstate Racing and Waging Compact

The Act authorizes and directs the Governor to execute an interstate compact on participation in live pari-mutuel horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering activities; define terms; establish compact commission and assign powers and duties; establish rule-making procedure; permit compact commission to charge fees; establish rights and responsibilities of member states, restrictions on authority, and construction, saving, and severability; establish effective provision based upon enactment by at least six states.

This week the Kentucky House passed the new Interstate Racing Compact designed to create uniformity among states participating in thoroughbred and harness horse racing.  Gov. Beshear, who is expected to sign the bill, issued the following statement in a recent press release: "now, with the passage of SB 24 Kentucky can continue its leadership role as the Horse Capital of the World,” Beshear noted  “This compact will better the industry not just in Kentucky, but across the nation, and allows us a prominent seat at the table in proposing uniform regulations among member states.  The compact will allow participants to operate under uniform rules and regulations, where applicable, while still maintaining regulation at the state level."


Dating back to America’s colonial past, interstate compacts are one of the few tools specifically granted to states by the U.S. Constitution. While it is unlikely our Founding Fathers anticipated the scope and breadth of today’s state government policy challenges, their inclusion of compacts in the Constitution provided state policymakers with a powerful, durable, and adaptive tool for ensuring cooperative action among the states. The growth of the modern
compact has further provided states a sophisticated administrative mechanism, allowing interstate collaboration to resolve complex policy challenges, while simultaneously avoiding federal intervention. 

Today's Lexington Herald-Leader has an article about the new National Racing Compact that would create uniformity in the rules and regulations governing horse racing.  CSG's National Center for Interstate Compacts served as a consultant during the drafting phase of the compact.  To read the full article and learn more about the compact please click here.

KY State Senator Damon Thayer has prefiled a bill that would allow Kentucky to join the newly drafted National Racing Compact.  The compact, which was drafted by Racing Commissioners International, with consultation from CSG's National Center for Interstate Compacts, aims to create uniform rules and regulations for the horse racing industry.  Other states, including DE, IN, NJ, NY and VA are also expected to consider the compact during the upcoming session.  To track the bill's progress in KY please click here

As our world shrinks and the enormity of specific policy issues grows, multiple states are finding themselves facing similar, if not identical, situations. While states must act to address current and emerging problems, they are not required to act alone. In fact, states may find that acting in cooperation with their neighbors affords significant opportunities for creative problem solving, economies of scale and the bolstering of state rights over a range of topics. Interstate compacts are not new, nor are they unfamiliar to the modern policymaker. However, the innovative ways in which interstate compacts may be used are evolving before us – seeking to tackle a host of issues not previously addressed by this interstate mechanism. As states struggle with nearly unparalleled financial downturns and revenue declines, interstate compacts are an efficient tool to promote cooperative regional or national action.