205 CMR 3.01 - Foreword

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission, hereinafter referred to as the Commission, was created by an act of the Legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the year 2011. M.G.L. c. 23K as inserted by St. 2011, c. 194, ยง 16 and amendments, states that the Commission shall have full power to prescribe rules, regulations and conditions under which all harness horse races or harness horse racing meetings shall be conducted in the Commonwealth.

205 CMR 3.00 applies to all persons or individuals, associations or corporations, which shall hold or conduct any harness horse racing meeting within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts licensed by the Commission where harness horse racing shall be permitted for any stake, purse or reward and the definitions here given are to be considered in connection with the rules of harness horse racing and as a part of them.

All licensees and participants are charged with knowledge of 205 CMR 3.00. No licensee or other person shall engage in his or her occupation or trade at any Massachusetts harness horse race track without first reading the 205 CMR 3.00.

Should any question arise as to the meaning of any rule or regulation, the Commission or its representatives will be available to provide an explanation.

205 CMR 3.00 shall also apply to any participant in or patron of any such licensed meeting. In reading 205 CMR 3.00, unless the text otherwise requires, it shall be understood, without constant reference thereto, that they apply only in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Every license to hold a meeting is granted upon the condition that the licensee shall accept, observe and enforce 205 CMR 3.00. Furthermore, it shall be the duty of each and every officer, director and every official and employee of said licensee to observe and enforce 205 CMR 3.00. Any and all of 205 CMR 3.00 may be amended, altered, repealed or supplemented by new and additional rules.

The Commission may make exceptions to any rule or rules in individual instances as in their judgement they may deem proper.

The Commission may rescind or modify any penalty or decision or infraction of the rules imposed or made by the racing officials.

M.G.L. c. 128A, and 205 CMR 3.00 supersede the conditions of a race, or the regulations of a race meeting.

205 CMR 3.00 as promulgated by the Commission are supplemented by the State Administrative Procedure Law found in M.G.L. c. 30A. M.G.L. c. 30A provides the procedures that must be followed by all state agencies on such matters as the amending process and the adjudicatory procedure. Under M.G.L. c. 30A, any interested party has the right to attend all hearings conducted by the Commission for the purpose of the adoption or amendment of any rule or regulation. The Commission shall afford any interested person an opportunity to present data, views or arguments in regard to any proposed rule change. Upon written notice to the Commission, a person may request the adoption, amendment or repeal of any regulation with an opportunity to present data, views or arguments in support of such request.

If a dispute should arise concerning a ruling by a steward or other racing official, any party affected by such ruling has a right to an appeal to the Commission in accordance with the provisions of 205 CMR 101.02.

The rules on pari-mutuel wagering are located in an entirely separate rulebook entitled 205 CMR 6.00: Pari-mutuel Rules for Horse Racing, Harness Horse Racing and Greyhound Racing.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission adopts the United States Trotting Association (USTA) Rules and Regulations as amended; and supplements those rules and regulations with 205 CMR 3.00.

In any situation where a conflict exists between the United States Trotting Association Rules and 205 CMR 3.00, 205 CMR 3.00 will govern. In any instance where a situation is not covered by the USTA Rules, 205 CMR 3.00 will govern and vice versa. The assessment of fines and suspensions shall be in the discretion of the Judges and the Gaming Commission.


205 CMR 3.01
Amended by Mass Register Issue 1356, eff. 6/9/2017. Amended by Mass Register Issue 1414, eff. 4/3/2020.

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