Record crowds, increased handle, growing purses, jobs, businesses and positive economic impact in Florida have been the clear result of legitimate horse racing held at Gulfstream Park, Hialeah Park and Calder Race Course this year. And the state’s horse-breeding industry also produced Animal Kingdom — the 2013 winner of the $10 Million Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest horse race.
As Florida lawmakers embark on a careful study of gambling issues as they affect the state and its people, this is the time to understand that the scope of racing’s economic impact reaches far beyond the racetrack itself.
As Florida’s Legislature works this year to illuminate gambling’s gray areas, however, a simple, yet insidious loophole remains: With no definition of “horse race” on Florida’s law books, counties have rushed to hold slot referendums in the wake of “pari-mutuel barrel racing,” which paved the way for rogue pari-mutuel permitholders to quickly capitalize on the attendant bonus profits of 365-day cardrooms and their permits’ slot machine potential.
Emboldened, some pari-mutuels have started to define a “horse race” anyway they want, resulting in further decimation of legitimate Florida horse racing, the 104,000 annual jobs it creates and its resulting $2.2 billion statewide economic impact.
Read more from FloridaVoices.com: http://www.floridavoices.com/myturn/horse-racing-big-florida-don-t-dilute-real-thing