Opa Locka, FL --- Please be advised that the highly-anticipated Florida Senate Gaming Study Invitation to Negotiate was issued Wednesday (Feb. 20).
A comment from Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association Executive Director Kent Stirling on the importance of this study to the Florida horse racing industry is below:
“With the Florida horse racing industry’s documented $2.2 billion annual statewide economic impact as an economic engine producing 104,000 jobs a year, our policymakers would definitely hear a giant sucking sound if the state were to lose our Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse and Standardbred businesses,” Stirling said.
“Through the outcome of this crucial study, we are confident our legislators will clearly see and find reason to stop the exodus of Florida racehorses and their money that is resulting from the misguided pari-mutuel policies of the past. Our owners and trainers -- many of whom are small business owners -- want the assurance that Florida is prepared to stop the recent rash of phony horse events causing the problem. They want to know opportunity for legitimate competition is alive here, and that our policymakers take their business investment in Florida seriously.
“Anyone who thinks horse racing is not a viable industry in Florida may not realize that Thoroughbred racing at Gulfstream Park was nationally reported as being singlehandedly responsible for a 17 percent uptick in national wagering handle last year, while purses for AQHA-accredited Quarter Horse racing at Hialeah Park have nearly tripled in just several years, thanks to record-setting attendance and handle.”
Click here to view the Invitation to Negotiate entire document in PDF format.