What You Need to Know
- The Division of Racing is responsible for regulating the Massachusetts horse racing industry and implementing M.G.L. Chapters 128A and 128C. As such, the Division is delegated the power to prescribe rules, regulations and conditions under which all horse racing meetings shall be conducted in the Commonwealth.
- Participants must be licensed by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission prior to participating in a racing meeting.
- The Division of Racing has instituted sweeping new rules and regulations to promote the health and well-being of horses
Every participant in the Massachusetts horse racing industry must be licensed prior to racing. Checks may be made out to: Commonwealth of Massachusetts. License applications are available here.
Harness racing licenses
Please send completed harness racing license applications to:
Division of Racing
Massachusetts Gaming Commission
c/o Plainridge Park Casino
301 Washington Street
Plainville, MA 02762
The office is open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 12 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., and Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. If you have questions, please call 617.533.9800.
Thoroughbred racing licenses
Currently, there are no active live thoroughbred racetracks in Massachusetts.
The use of agents that elevate the horse’s TCO2 (total carbon dioxide) level above those existing naturally in the untreated horse at normal physiological concentrations is prohibited. In Massachusetts, the regulatory threshold for TCO2 is 37.0 millimoles per liter of plasma/serum.
Massachusetts regulations permit certain non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (“NSAIDs”) to be used in racehorses under the following conditions:
The use of all but one of the approved NSAIDs (phenylbutazone, flunixin, or ketofen) shall be discontinued at least 48 hours before the post time for the race in which the horse is entered. No NSAID shall be administered within 24 hours of such post time.
Any horse to which a NSAID has been administered is subject to having a blood and/or urine sample(s) taken to determine the quantitative NSAID level(s) and/or the presence of other drugs which may be present in the blood or urine sample(s).
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has adopted the Association of Racing Commissioners International’s Controlled Therapeutic Substance rule, which utilizes thresholds which may be found here.
Important medication advisories from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.