Govt nod for summer meet

Govt nod for summer meet
The uncertainty over the summer meeting’s racing activities finally came to an end with the Bangalore Turf Club (BTC) receiving the licence from the government on Wednesday.

After toiling hard for over a week to gain the government’s nod, the BTC finally heaved a sigh of relief when it received the licence to conduct races and hold off-course betting for the entire summer season.

The Criminal Investigation Development (CID) probe over the state of affairs at the club and government’s adverse response in the initial stage to the club’s plea had put the racing in limbo. However, following the development on Tuesday, when it got the government’s approval for conducting off-course betting for Wednesday’s Mysuru races, things seemed to be coming back on track.

“The government approves the racing activities from June 8-August 31 (a total of 18 race days) at the Bangalore Turf Club and the licence has been issued for the same,” said an order signed by KS Padmavathi, Additional Secretary, Finance Department.

“We are extremely happy with the development. We were confident of the government supporting us. We have always tried to maintain a cordial relationship with the government and will continue to do so. I am glad that racing will continue in Bengaluru,” said Y Jagannath, chairman, BTC.

The issue had a telling effect on BTC’s revenue and the worst hit were the daily wage workers. Improving the financial status of the club will help it handle such situations better in the future, felt Jagannath.

“We aim to raise more money in order to keep the stakeholders happy. Better reserve of funds will help us tackle similar scenarios, if they arise, in the future,” he said.

Meanwhile, BTC sources said on Tuesday that the top officials of the club are considering to increase the membership number to 500 from the existing 350, in tune with the government’s demands.

“The government has responded favourably to us and we are extremely pleased with it. We are bound to take the government’s demands into regard but nothing will be finalised without the approval of the members at the Special General Body meeting,” said a committee member. 

There will be off-course betting for Ooty races on Thursday and Friday and live racing will take place during the weekend. The season is scheduled to end on August 11.

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