Florida Invoice In search of to Finish Parimutuel Reside Occasion Requirement Advances


Posted on: April 13, 2021, 10:18h. 

Final up to date on: April 13, 2021, 10:40h.

Florida’s quarter horse and harness racing tracks, in addition to jai alai frontons, might quickly select to finish internet hosting stay pari-mutuel sporting occasions, however proceed to function their card golf equipment and racinos. 

Florida racino card club parimutuel horse racing
Pompano Park is pictured right here in its third harness racing season in 1965. If new gaming laws in search of to finish stay racing necessities at most pari-mutuel racetracks passes, such horse racing might come to an finish in Florida. (Picture: South Florida Solar Sentinel)

Three articles of laws had been handed out of the Senate Regulated Industries Committee this week. The payments work collectively to terminate the requirement that pari-mutuel racinos and card golf equipment can solely function at horse racetracks and jai alai venues that frequently conduct stay occasions. 

Senate Invoice 7076, S7078, and S7080 all acquired unanimous approval, with little debate within the Senate committee. 

Pari-mutuel amenities positioned exterior the counties of Miami-Dade and Broward can solely function card golf equipment with non-house-banked video games. Parimutuel racinos inside these two counties can function the identical card video games, but in addition slot machines. 

The laws is being pushed by Senate President Wilton Simpson (R-Trilby). He argues that, much like former greyhound pari-mutuel tracks, which not maintain stay competitions after state residents voted to outlaw canine racing in 2018, quarter and harness horse racing tracks and jai alai venues must be afforded the identical rights.

Opposition Speaks

The three Senate payments have been moved for additional consideration to the Senate Appropriations Committee. They’re set for preliminary dialogue this Thursday, April 15. 

Simpson mentioned the objective of the laws is to ensure that legal guidelines are up to date to “mirror present realities of the business.” However Mike Rogers, president of racing for the Stronach Group, which acquired Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Seaside, Fl., in 1999 for $95 million, believes the payments would put his firm’s facility at a aggressive drawback. 

Beneath Simpson’s laws, Florida’s two thoroughbred horse racetracks — Gulfstream Park and Tampa Bay Downs — would nonetheless have to proceed holding stay races. 

The online impact of this resolution locations the thoroughbred business at a severe aggressive and financial drawback,” Rogers informed the Regulated Industries Committee.

Rogers opined that ending the stay quarter horse, harness horse racing, and jai alai requirement would enable these racinos and card golf equipment to raised put money into advertising and participant rewards. 

“Placing our on line casino at a drawback would critically jeopardize this [horse racing] schedule, immediately impacting one of many world’s most coveted thoroughbred racing and breeding markets,” Rogers declared.

The On line casino at Gulfstream Park provides visitors card video games, slots, and digital desk video games.

Pari-mutuel Penalty

Rogers has beneficial that the laws be amended to require pari-mutuel venues that finish stay occasions however proceed to function card golf equipment or racinos pay a monetary penalty. That cash could be directed right into a thoroughbred horse racing prize fund. 

Lonny Powell, CEO of the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Homeowners’ Affiliation, additionally advised to the Senate Regulated Industries Committee that lawmakers evaluate concerns to finest defend thoroughbred racing from any influence brought on by the pari-mutuel proposals. 

“As this legislative course of strikes ahead, we’re hopeful that further consideration can be given in the direction of our thoroughbred observe companions when it comes to rewarding their notable dedication … in conserving their authentic goal of their permits in place by operating stay, full thoroughbred schedules of racing,” Powell mentioned. 

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