07/31/2001 11:00PM

Massachusetts extends race law

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The Massachusetts Senate passed a 15-day extension of the state's racing laws on Tuesday to allow two racing bills to be reconciled, averting for at least two more weeks a possible shutdown of simulcasting in the state.

The extension will run until Aug. 15, allowing members of a joint committee on governmental regulations the time to hammer out legislation that would legalize telephone wagering and expand simulcasting. The legislation has already been considered in the House and Senate, but the bills differ on several points.

The extension was the third passed in the state in the past seven months. The racing laws were initially set to expire at the end of 2000, but lawmakers passed a six-month extension before the year ended. The Massachusetts Senate then passed a 30-day extension at the end of June.