Berkshire leaders are considering the return of horseracing to Great Barrington. The possibility is raising a number of questions.
The long dormant fairgrounds in Great Barrington could once again hear the thunder of hooves as its owners pursue an offer from Sterling Suffolk Racecourse – which operated the now-shuttered Suffolk Downs in East Boston. The company wants to spend between $15 million and $20 million to hold races in the Southern Berkshire County community in the fall of 2020, according to figures from Great Barrington’s town manager citied in the Berkshire Edge. But all of that is contingent on changes to state law. Sterling Suffolk has not and is unable to officially apply to the town for a license to operate under current guidelines.
“Well the conversations are less specifically about Great Barrington and more about legislation relative to the regulation of horse racing and wagering,” said State Senator Adam Hinds of the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden District. He is the co-sponsor of Senate Bill 101, one of a number of bills concerning horseracing and sports betting being considered on Beacon Hill.