04/27/2012 3:44PM

Sabini new RCI chairman

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John Sabini, the chairman of the New York State Racing and Wagering Board, was sworn in on Friday to as the new chairman of the Association of Racing Commissioners International, an umbrella group for U.S. state racing jurisdictions.

Sabini, a former New York legislator who was appointed to his position on the New York racing board by former Gov. David Paterson in 2008, will replace William Koester, a member of the Ohio State Racing Commission. He was sworn in at the close of the RCI’s annual meeting in Oklahoma City.

The chairman of the RCI presides over a 15-member board that periodically meets to review recommended rules and policies for horse racing jurisdictions in the U.S. and Canada. Approval by the board of any recommendation is considered a strong endorsement for racing jurisdictions to adopt the regulation.