PIERRE – Later this month, members of the state Commission on Gaming will gather to consider changing some horse-racing regulations affecting jockeys at the Aberdeen and Fort Pierre meets next spring.

They also will look at creating a loophole so unlicensed independent contractors can legally manufacture slot machines for Deadwood casinos.

The independent contractors would need to operate under the supervision of other manufacturers already holding South Dakota licenses.

The proposal results from a business model that Harms Vending of Watertown has with a Florida company, according to Larry Eliason, executive secretary for the South Dakota commission.

“Our research indicates that it is a new, but accepted, business model,” Eliason said.

One set of questions facing the commission is how state gaming regulators will know when a licensed manufacturer is using an independent contractor.

The proposed changes in horse-racing rules meanwhile are partially a clean-up of outdated requirements and partially to address the difficulties of finding jockeys for South Dakota’s limited season each spring.

The commission will look at eliminating a requirement that an owner or trainer give consent to a jockey carrying more than two pounds overweight. There are occasions when stewards must assign jockeys to ride in races and there aren’t owners or trainers available to sign off.

The weight of the jockey that a horse carries can affect the outcome of a race. A standard belief among racing handicappers is that one pound of weight can mean a difference of one length if the horse was running one mile against the same competition.

Other possible changes would allow the waiver of the apprentice jockey allowance in some races, including stakes races, and to allow the waiver of the apprentice weight allowance.

“We have had a shortage of jockeys as long as I can remember. The short season and relatively small purses are just not attractive to many jockeys who prefer to work at the bigger tracks for longer seasons,” Eliason said.

The commission’s rules hearing is scheduled for Nov. 28, starting at 9 a.m. MT, in the Deadwood city hall.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.