Florida’s Horsemen Note Selection of Spectrum Gaming Group For Comprehensive Legislative Gaming Study

The Florida Legislature announced today, April 16, 2013, that it has signed a contract with Spectrum Gaming Group to complete a comprehensive study on Florida’s gaming-related issues.

“Spectrum Gaming has extensive experience in a variety of major horse racing and breeding states, including Kentucky, Louisiana, Illinois and Ohio,” remarked Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association Executive Director Kent Stirling.

“Florida’s professional racing horsemen are pleased that the message of our $2.2 billion annual statewide economic impact has apparently been heard,” Stirling added.  “Legitimate horse racing and breeding in Florida generates 104,000 documented jobs per year, and it is imperative that any public policy going forward reflects the enormous financial contributions of thousands of small businesses that are both directly and indirectly supported by Florida’s horse racing industry.”

The Legislature’s gaming study, which will be addressed in separate reports delivered in July and October 2013, will provide a comprehensive analysis of gaming market information, to include an assessment of the Florida gaming industry and its economic and social effects, an assessment of various potential changes in the gaming industry and their potential economic and social effects (including effects on other areas of the economy), and a statistical analysis of relationships between gaming and economic variables for communities.

The Legislature’s news release is reprinted below.

Florida Legislature Signs Contract for Gaming Study

Spectrum Gaming Group Selected to Complete Comprehensive Study on Gaming Issues

Tallahassee–The Florida House and Senate today announced the joint selection of Spectrum Gaming Group to complete a two-part study of gaming in Florida to assist the Legislature in better understanding the economic, fiscal, and social impacts of possible changes in Florida’s gaming environment.

“Spectrum has extensive experience in providing independent studies of gaming in a variety of jurisdictions, including Massachusetts, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Ohio,” said Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford (R-Wesley Chapel). “I look forward to reviewing their report as we take a holistic view of the role gaming plays in Florida’s economy.”

The gaming study will provide a comprehensive analysis of gaming market information, to include: an assessment of the Florida gaming industry and its economic and social effects; an assessment of various potential changes in the gaming industry and their potential economic and social effects (including effects on other areas of the economy); and a statistical analysis of relationships between gaming and economic variables for communities.

“The Florida Lottery, Seminole casinos, and gaming activities at licensed pari-mutuel facilities generate substantial economic activity; however, the State’s management of these activities has been focused on piecemeal changes, not a comprehensive policy that integrates gaming into the broader Florida economy,” said Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville). “This study will help House and Senate committees comprehensively examine gaming issues, including those that will affect the scheduled renegotiation of the Seminole Gaming Compact.”

“Spectrum is honored by this selection, as we realize the importance of this study to Florida’s policymakers in so many ways, from the future of its tourism industry to the quality of life for its citizens,” said Michael Pollock, Spectrum Gaming Group’s Managing Director.

The gaming study is divided into sub-parts, which will be addressed in separate reports delivered in July and October. The total cost of the two-part gaming study is $388,845. A complete description of the scope of work is contained at pages 11-13 of the Invitation to Negotiate, which can be found via the Gaming Study Home Page.

Spectrum’s project team includes: Dr. Howard Shaffer, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Division on Addiction at The Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard Medical School teaching affiliate; Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI); Doug Walker, Associate Professor of Economics at the College of Charleston; and, Lori Pennington-Gray, Associate Director of the Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute at the University of Florida.

Procurement Process

The Legislature conducted a competitive procurement process to select a vendor. An Invitation to Negotiate was issued in February. Seven vendors submitted replies by the deadline. An evaluation team composed of House and Senate staff reviewed the proposals in detail and selected three vendors for continued negotiations (Spectrum Gaming Group, The Innovation Group, and MGT of America). After negotiations, House and Senate staff provided recommendations to the Speaker Weatherford and President Gaetz, respectively, regarding the selection of a vendor to provide the highest overall value to the Florida Legislature.

For more information on the gaming study and procurement process, please visit the Gaming Study Home Page located at http://www.leg.state.fl.us/GamingStudy

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About unitedfloridahorsemen

The United Florida Horsemen, comprises the organizations listed below, and represents the interests of Florida's horsemen and horse racing industry to Regulators, the Florida Legislature, Public Policy Makers and the community at large. • National and Florida Barrel Horse Association (24,000 members) • American Quarter Horse Association (350,000 national members; 7,163 Florida members) • Florida Quarter Horse Racing Association (439 members) • U.S. Trotting Association (25,000 members) • Florida Standardbred Owners and Breeders Association (630 members) • Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association (1,300 members) • National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (35,000 members) • Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (5,000 members)
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