Simulcast License at Suffolk to Expire on Dec. 31

Suffolk Downs Race track will close its simulcasting season at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 31, and the future beyond that is quite in doubt.

A calendar for simulcasting from the track lists simulcasting races all throughout the day on Dec. 31, but on Jan. 1 it reads “To Be Determined.”

According to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC), which now oversees racing, Suffolk Downs simulcasting rights end at midnight on Dec. 31. Track owners had said they would close the season on Nov. 20, but simulcasting has continued throughout the winter. However, that would appear to also come to an end this week.

The last race, at least announced by the current ownership, was held on Oct. 4.

The New England Benevolent Horsemen’s Association has filed placeholder license with the MGC to try to hold live racing at the track in 2015, but that has yet to be finalized.

The predicament for Suffolk Downs is that, by state law, a track cannot simulcast racing without having live racing. Since the track currently no longer participates in live racing, it would not qualify for a renewal of simulcast rights.

The MGC did say that the track has filed language with the state legislature that would allow it to simulcast without live racing.

The fruits of that legislation have also not the finalized and there was no immediate word as to where that stood.

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