“Pari-Mutuel Barrel Racing” Hearing Resumes in Tallahassee June 26, 2012
A continued final hearing on the issue of whether “pari-mutuel barrel racing” has been allowed in Florida without enabling legislation, regulatory hearings or public input will begin tomorrow, June 26, 2012, at the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings in Tallahassee (Hearing Room 7, DeSoto Building, 1230 Apalachee Parkway, 9:00 a.m. (ET).
After what was supposed to be the final day of a three-day hearing on April 11, 2012, at least six witnesses still remained to testify in the case (Case No: 11-005796RU), which involves a dispute over the award of a racing license by the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering to Gretna Racing LLC.
Since the award of its license, Gretna Racing has used it to conduct a brand new form of gambling it calls “pari-mutuel barrel racing.”
Nearly 450,000 horsemen in eight Florida and national organizations have agreed that the Division’s license award to Gretna Racing was an overstep of regulatory authority and constitutes an unpromulgated Rule.
Normally, the introduction of a new gambling product into the market would be enabled with the passage of legislation, followed by subsequent regulatory hearings in which public input would be provided and considered. With “pari-mutuel barrel racing,” none of that process occurred.
Now enabled to minimally meet Florida live racing requirements for poker and slot machine licensing through “pari-mutuel barrel racing,” other Florida pari-mutuel permitholders are in line to leverage this new gambling product to acquire slot machines without conducting legitimate horse racing.
Of paramount concern to Florida’s racing industry, “pari-mutuel barrel racing” plummets the need for approximately 2,000 horses at a typical racetrack to just 8 per day, of which the same 8 horses can, and have been used over and over again, while the cardrooms stay open 365 days a year. Legitimate horse racing is documented to employ over 50,000 Floridians per year who produce over $2.2 billion in statewide economic impact.
“The implications of allowing ‘pari-mutuel barrel racing’ to decimate the enormous economic impact of Florida’s heretofore successful horse racing and breeding industry are dire. The State of Florida cannot afford to allow clever lawyering and loopholes to destroy its internationally known horse racing and breeding industry in this manner,” remarked Kent Stirling, Executive Director for the Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, which comprises over 6,000 Thoroughbred horsemen.
For further information, please contact the Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association at (305) 625-4591.
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