National Thoroughbred Racing Association

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Logo of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) is a broad-based coalition of American horse racing interests consisting of leading thoroughbred racetracks, owners, breeders, trainers and affiliated horse racing associations, charged with increasing the popularity of horse racing and improving economic conditions for industry participants.[1] The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Kentucky, and Rye Brook, New York.

Historically, it is the marketing departments of the individual tracks, not the national marketing campaigns, which have attracted a fan base. In 2012, the radio campaign by advertising agency, DeVito/Verdi, led to an increase in a younger, more affluent fan base, and won the Mercury awards for the best radio campaign.[2]


Founding and early lobbying[edit]

The NTRA was formed in 1998 with startup funding provided by Breeders' Cup Limited, Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, The Jockey Club, Keeneland Association, Oak Tree Racing Association and the National Thoroughbred Association. It replaced the Thoroughbred Racing Associations of North America as the sponsor of the American Horse of the Year awards in 1998.[1]

Beginning in the late 1990s, the NTRA operated a number of lobbying campaigns in Washington, D.C. They NTRA registered a "hard money" political action committee with the Federal Election Commission on July 14, 2000,[3] with the organization quoting that "a $1-million PAC is a necessary complement to the NTRA's federal lobbying efforts."[3]

Online wagering - Federal authorization[edit]

On December 15, 2000, the United States Congress passed a package of appropriations bills which included an amendment to the Interstate Horseracing Act (IHA), a bill first enacted in 1978. The NTRA had been a key lobbying team behind the new legislation,[4] and the IHA Amendment was signed by President Bill Clinton on December 22 and clarified that the US horse racing industry could conduct interstate simulcasting and "commingling of pools and account wagering," so long as the states where the activity occurred permitted such activity.[4] This legislation confirmed that Internet-based wagering related to horse racing was legal, so long as the wagering business could confirm the identity and age via closed-loop authentication.[4] Separate gambling legislation known as the Federal Wire Act that historically prohibited any betting over state lines via technology stayed intact, with horse racing becoming the sole exemption for federally recognized online gambling in states that authorized the activity.[5]

Federal tax relief[edit]

Beginning in 2002 the NTRA lobbying team advocated for H.R. 4474, which gained bipartisan support for its proposal to eliminate the 30% tax that the U.S. government then placed on all international bets.[6][7] This legislation was signed into law in by President George W. Bush October 22, 2004.[8]

In 2006 the NTRA lobbying team secured an additional exemption for horse racing in the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, signed by President Bush on October 13, 2006.[9]








  1. ^ a b "NTRA". NTRA. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b "Edited Press Release: Horse PAC Increases Size of Board of Directors". The Blood-Horse. January 27, 2006. Retrieved 2014-11-30. 
  4. ^ a b c Brunker, Mike (December 27, 2000). "Gambling ban falls short again". MSNBC. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  5. ^ Stone, Peter H. (June 14, 2003). "Odd Befellows on Internet Betting". National Journal / Lobbying and Law. 
  6. ^ "Fiftieth Annual Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing" (PDF). The Jockey Club. August 18, 2002. Retrieved 2014-07-06. 
  7. ^ Murray, Shalaigh (July 25, 2003). "Horse Racing Nuzzles Capitol Hill". Wall Street Journal. 
  8. ^ LaMarra, Tom (October 22, 2004). "Elimination of Withholding Tax Becomes Law". The Blood-Horse. Retrieved 2014-11-30. 
  9. ^ "Bush Signs Internet Gambling Bill That Includes Horse Racing Exemption". The Horsemen's Journal. Winter 2006. Retrieved 2014-11-30. 

External links[edit]