|The supposed return of horse racing on Sunday has been called off. Mike Romero (file photo)|
By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA--The Games and Amusements Board is clarifying some things regarding the resumption of horse races.
This after the Metro Manila Turf Club had to postpone its scheduled races for Sunday.
The Inter-Agency Task Force said that horse races can only push through again if Metro Manila goes into the more lenient modified general community quarantine.
But presidential spokesman Harry Roque announced on Wednesday night that Metro Manila remains under the classic GCQ for the rest of the month due to the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing MMTC to call off its races.
Interestingly, MMTC's turf is located in Malvar, Batangas, which is already under MGCQ, which led to GAB stepping in.
“The industry has thousands of stakeholders who are adversely affected by the pandemic, and the government, too, is losing a lot in the form of unearned income from horse racing,” GAB chairman Baham Mitra said on Thursday.
GAB also looks into resuming the off-track betting subject to the health protocols set during the pandemic.
For now, GAB settled for the resumption of the horse races without any form of betting.
"This was a painful decision on our part and we understand that it may not sit well with the betting public and our stakeholders especially our good friends at MMTC, the jockeys, trainers and other personnel," Mitra continued.
Another thing GAB is looking at is the expiration of the MMTC's legislative franchise, which is set to expire by Sunday. As of posting, there is no update about giving MMTC a fresh franchise.
But right now, GAB is thanking the MMTC for its continuous support.
“We are very thankful for MMTC’s support on this, even as we hope and pray their franchise approval will timely move along,” Mitra concluded.
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