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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

As previously reported here, the Daily Racing Form has an article confirming the hearing officer who heard Walter Case Jr.'s appeal requesting him to be licensed, denied the appeal and has forwarded her findings to the full Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC).  Under the commission rules, Case may file a written response to the denial and submit it to the MGC which will then vote to either uphold the hearing officer's decision or grant him a license.  Being the hearing officer is a member of the MGC, the written response would need to get the support of three of the other four board members in order for Case to get licensed. 

My expectation is that Case's request for a license will be withdrawn as a rejection by the MGC will hurt his chances to get licensed elsewhere as it will be reported to all commissions whereas if the application is withdrawn, it will be as if Case never applied for the license.  According to the DRF, Case's only possible opportunity for obtaining a license at this point may be California which tends to be more forgiving when it comes to licensing individuals.  Certainly not the dream scenario with California's limited racing season, historically poor purses, and no chance to get casino gaming.

I am not excusing Case's prior infractions both on and off the track, nor am I saying he bears no responsibility for his prior actions whether caused by substance abuse or not, but he served time for the criminal offense and all reports indicated Case was a model prisoner who obtained treatment for his demons while incarcerated.  Being some individuals racing have checkered passes involving various infractions and no one has ever questioned Case's integrity when it comes to winning, I find denying him one last chance to come back as being exceedingly punitive. 

Case deserves one more chance to show he is rehabilitated and changed his ways, but also needs to be made to understand this is one last chance and put on a tight leash which could be accomplished by granting a conditional license; a license which could be lifted immediately if he fell into remission or resumed his rule-violating ways.  The question is will any state be willing to give him a chance?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pacingguy:

Walter Case had his one more chance many times over.

His criminal past need not have any effect on his re-licensing in racing. I agree he served his time and should be free to resume a life outside prison, but that life should not include harness racing.

Though he was one of the best drivers ever, how can you forgive the ever present rules violations and essentially giving the middle finger salute to racing regulators as he ignored fines?

Racing is getting knocked around a lot these days. Too many people have checked their morals at the paddock entrance. It doesn't need Walter Case.

Pacingguy said...

My assumption is his many racing violations were due to substance abuse problems, problems he was forced to deal with in prison; this is why I am willing to give him one more chance.

If he had not done time, I would never be in favor of giving him another time.