Florida Senate Gaming Committee Schedules Two Meetings in January 2013
Florida’s Horsemen Applaud Chairman Richter’s Commitment to Study Complete Florida Gaming Landscape, Economic Impact
After its initial meeting was canceled during early December, the Florida Senate’s new Gaming Committee will convene on January 14 and 22, 2013 during the Legislature’s regular Interim Committee Week schedules.
“I am confident I speak for the 104,000 Floridians employed annually by the horse racing industry that we are very encouraged by Chairman Garrett Richter’s commitment to do a complete economic analysis of all gambling in the state,” said Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association Executive Director Kent Stirling. “Horse racing generates $2.2 billion a year for Florida and draws global interest to our state. Because the precipitous side effects of both existing and proposed gaming policies have not yet been duly considered, members of the Senate Gaming Committee will certainly be shocked to learn that we are already killing thousands of Florida jobs during this past year—not creating them.”
Recently, certain Florida pari-mutuel permitholders have been allowed to open cardrooms and apply for slot machine licenses under the pretense of conducting phony horse-related events such as “pari-mutuel barrel racing” that are purposefully designed to drastically eliminate the need for competing horses, horse breeding and the many jobs and economic impact these activities create.
“Would Florida rather have slot machines and many, many more jobs and businesses? Or slot machines and just a few jobs?” Stirling remarked. “That’s the difference between having real horse racing and allowing these rapacious imposters to continue their scheme.”
Allowed as a brand new gambling product without enabling legislation, regulatory hearings or public input, activities such as “pari-mutuel barrel racing” and its copycat hybrid activities have rapidly spread throughout the State as a work-around to cardrooms and slot machines at the expense of horse racing that would otherwise result in the creation tens of thousands of jobs and businesses. Wagering handle as low as $24 a day has been recorded for “pari-mutuel barrel racing,” with the resulting state pari-mutuel taxes generated plummeting to less than $20 a day.