Many Louisiana residents are familiar with the racetrack at Evangeline Downs. Located in Opelousas, the facility is a site where fans can watch racehorses and place bets on their favorites. Evangeline Downs has been in the headlines of late, not for any achievements within the racing world, but over allegations that three of their jockeys have taken actions to fix multiple races. The men have now been charged with a crime in connection to those allegations.
According to police, the jockeys took actions to slow down horses that were favorites to win, thereby allowing other horses to prevail in multiple races. The men are also accused of using agents to place bets on the horses who were given an advantage in the races. The investigation began after the Louisiana gaming commission received a complaint.
All of the jockeys are charged with activities aimed at slowing their horses as well as swindling and cheating. Two of the jockeys are also charged with unnaturally stimulating their horses using electric shock devices that are meant to make the horses run faster. Such devices are not permitted within the racing industry.
Should a conviction result from these allegations, the three Louisiana jockeys charged with a crime could face serious punitive measures. The charges related to the use of electric buzzers and intentionally holding back the horses with reins carry a criminal penalty of up to $5,000 in fines as well as up to five years in prison. As for the charges of swindling and cheating, the sentence could include a prison term of up to ten years as well as a fine of $3,000.
Source: The Washington Post, “Three Louisiana jockeys arrested on race-fixing charges“, Matt Bonesteel, July 23, 2015