Above: Senate President Pro Tempore Garrett Richter will guide the Florida Senate’s newly created Gaming Committee in 2013
Note: The first meeting of the new Senate Gaming Committee, originally scheduled for December 3, 2012, has been canceled.
It was announced on November 28, 2012, that the Florida Senate’s newly created Gaming Committee will be chaired by Senate President Pro Tempore Garrett Richter. Senator Maria Sachs will serve as Vice Chair.
- Information on the Senate Gaming Committee and its membership is reprinted below.
Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association Executive Director Kent Stirling, who represents nearly 6,000 Florida Thoroughbred horsemen, said of the new Committee:
“The 104,000 people employed by Florida’s $2.2 billion dollar horse racing industry congratulates Senator Richter, Senator Sachs and all the members of this important new Committee.
“As Senators begin their careful study of the facts surrounding Florida’s convoluted gambling laws and regulations, it is critical to know that the statewide rush to hold county slot machine referendums has been largely fueled over the past year by the use of phony, contrived horse-related events such as ‘pari-mutuel barrel racing’ and copycat hybrids deliberately designed to skirt both state and federal law at the expense of our livelihoods.
“These phony events—brand new gambling products that were allowed with no enabling legislation, regulatory hearings or public input—exploit the fact that Florida has no legal definition of ‘horse race.’
“Not even real barrel racing or horse racing, these illegitimate events have been fabricated by rogue pari-mutuel permitholders and their casino interests to purposefully eliminate the thousands of competitive horses and 104,000 documented Florida jobs they annually create in Florida’s legitimate Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse and Standardbred racing and breeding industry, while enabling these facilities to be licensed for cardrooms and—if ultimately allowed by the Legislature—slot machines.
“Hence the statewide rush by counties such as Gadsden, Hamilton and Washington to hedge their bets this year with speculative slot referendums.
“Because Florida law requires live racing in order to hold ancillary gaming activities, facility owners —some of them out-of-state tribal gaming corporations—see Gretna Racing LLC’s “pari-mutuel barrel racing” model as an opportunity to not only curtail the expense of jobs that would normally be created by legitimate horse racing, but to hoard the resulting profits that would otherwise be distributed in purses through independent horsemen’s associations.
Florida Senate Committee on Gaming
- Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto (R)
- Senator Oscar Braynon, II (D)
- Senator Jeff Clemens (D)
- Senator Charles S. “Charlie” Dean, Sr. (R)
- Senator Bill Galvano (R)
- Senator Andy Gardiner (R)
- Senator Jack Latvala (R)
- Senator Tom Lee (R)
- Senator Gwen Margolis (D)
- Senator Bill Montford (D)
- Senator John Thrasher (R)
- John Guthrie, Staff Director
|12/03/2012||03:00 PM||Meeting Notice – Meeting Canceled|