The Chairman of the Washington State Horse Racing Commission, Robert Lopez, is the new Chair of the Association of Racing Commissioners International.  Lopez replaces Tom Sage of Nebraska whose term expired.

Lopez will lead the association at a transitional time in North American racing as a new federal law in the United States is implemented creating a new national regulatory entity to partner with existing state commissions.

A graduate of the FBI’s National Academy, Lopez is a longtime law enforcement professional who worked his way up as a member of the Washington State Patrol before retiring as Assistant Chief in 2001. 

In 2002, Lopez began a second career in horse racing regulation, joining the staff of the racing commission and again working his way up to become Executive Secretary.   In 2015, he was appointed by Governor Jay Inslee to serve as a Member of the Commission and subsequently elevated to serve as Commission Chairman.

For many years Lopez has been a key leader within the ARCI, serving on its Board of Directors and the prestigious Model Rules Committee.  

The ARCI held its Annual Meeting online yesterday to elect ten At-Large Directors to augment those designated by the top five horse racing jurisdictions as measured by live race days consistent with the organization’s ByLaws.   The five automatic Board Members are:  Brent Stone, Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario; Rob Williams, New York Gaming Commission; Chairman Scott Borgemenke, Ohio State Racing Commission; Anthony Salerno, Pennsylvania Racing Commission; Louis Trombetta, Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering.

The following individuals were elected yesterday to the RCI Board:

  • J. Michael Hopkins – Executive Director, Maryland Racing Commission
  • Commissioner Connie McNabb, DVM – Texas Racing Commission
  • Judith Nason, Esq. – Executive Director, New Jersey Racing Commission
  • Marc Guilfoil – Executive Director, Kentucky Horse Racing Commission
  • Charles Moore – Executive Director, Wyoming Gaming Commission
  • David Lermond – Executive Director, Virginia Racing Commission
  • Commissioner Duncan Patterson – Chair, Delaware Thoroughbred Commission
  • Charles Gardiner – Executive Director, Louisiana Racing Commission
  • Kelly Cathey – Executive Director, Oklahoma Racing Commission
  • Doug Moore – Executive Director, Washington State Racing Commission

At its next Board meeting, the ARCI will elect two additional Board Members to serve as Secretary/Chair-elect and Treasurer.    Chairman Lopez will also appoint two additional At-Large Members consistent with his authority under the ByLaws.

The ARCI is a “board driven” entity and its President and staff implement and articulate policies and positions that represent the decisions made by the Members.    Every regulatory agency member is represented at Board meetings as an “Ex-Officio” Board Member.