The Rise and Fall of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act: How Congress Could Save the “Sport of Kings”
Lucy McAfee | 25 Vand. J. Ent. & Tech. L. 783 (2023).
The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) has undergone several unsuccessful changes over the past decade in an effort to change how horseracing is regulated. After Congress successfully passed HISA in 2020, several lawsuits were filed to stop HISA from going into effect. Congress quickly passed an amendment to HISA—which the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld—seemingly stopping such litigation, but it is clear from opponents’ statements that this is just the beginning. This Note will examine the constitutional arguments’ strengths and weaknesses through precedent to determine whether the long-awaited act, as amended, can stand the test of time—and its many legal challenges. First, this Note will provide a brief overview of the lead-up to HISA, its many iterations, and its current structure. Next, it will discuss the various constitutional problems with the Act and the viewpoints articulated. Then, it will analyze which of these provisions are truly susceptible to challenge and why, as analyzed through US Supreme Court precedent, and the effects on possible future litigation. This Note will also look at the possible problem of the independent regulatory structure. Lastly, it will conclude with the overall risks and whether the act crossed the line.