BGLC gives $1.5 million to Grooms Association
The Grooms Association has received a $1.5-million boost from the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission (BGLC). The regulator for Jamaica’s gambling industry has provided the funds to enable registration and insurance for the grooms at Caymanas Park for the 2021-22 fiscal year.
“We are very grateful to the BGLC for this assistance, which will ensure that some of the grooms have medical insurance coverage as they do their work,” Grooms Association President Fabian White said.
“This donation to the grooms comes as part of our continued support of Jamaica’s horse racing industry,” BGLC Executive Director Vitus Evans said. “It is important to us that the proceeds of gambling can be used for good causes. The grooms are the unsung heroes of horse racing as they look after the horses in their stables, ensuring that the horses are fed, watered, exercised, and have a clean and healthy stable to rest in so that they can be in fine condition when they enter the track for their races.”
The Jamaica Racing Commission (JRC) has negotiated a health plan for the grooms, with provider Canopy extending a 30 per cent discount on the premiums.
“The JRC thanks the BGLC for their continued assistance and social responsibility to the horse racing industry and understanding of the plight and economic hardship of stakeholders who earn below the minimum wage,” JRC General Manager Richard Longmore said.
Over 500 persons are employed as grooms at Caymanas Park. They comprise the largest stakeholder group at Caymanas Park and are an essential occupational group within the horse racing ecosystem.