On Friday, September 6, the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering announced a scheduled, comprehensive day-long rule-making workshop for October 16, 2013 on a slate of technical regulations relating to pari-mutuels, including horse racing.
According to a press release announced by the Division, the October 16 workshop is scheduled to take place in Ft. Lauderdale as the first in a "series" of statewide regulatory hearings. The press release also stated that in their current form, the laws regulating the industry are unclear and do not define many standards necessary to ensure the continued integrity of pari-mutuel wagering.
“The FHPBA was definitely surprised to see the Division’s announcement today,” said the Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association Executive Director Kent Stirling. “We’re still in the process of reviewing the proposed Rule text, which appears to have already been drafted.”
Specifically, the draft rules seek to define and specify performance and jockey requirements; track, race and jai alai general rules; and qualifications of horses to start. The rules will be discussed in upcoming rule-development workshops held by the Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering.
The Florida Legislature is in process of reviewing Florida’s gaming and pari-mutuel laws and has commissioned a private company, Spectrum Gaming, to conduct a study. The Spectrum study, the final segment of which is due October 1, 2013, is expected to provide Florida lawmakers with a basis for crafting legislative policy going forward. Before Friday’s surprise Division announcement, statewide legislative hearings were said to have been planned.
“Given that on January 4, 2012, a slate of rules relating to Thoroughbred racing technicalities were repealed, we need to make a thorough analysis of what’s going on,” Stirling said.
In response to the recent rules workshop announcement, and to better inform the legislature of how the Thoroughbred community feels about gambling regulation in the state, The Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association--two of Thoroughbred racing’s top consortiums of owners, trainers and breeders--have joined with the Florida Quarter Horse Racing Association and Florida Quarter Horse Breeders’ and Owners’ Association to produce a study of how their collective businesses and jobs converge to keep Florida’s economy humming.
Each organization is currently urging its members to complete the study’s survey, the results of which will be used to create the final report to be presented to the Florida Legislature as lawmakers deliberate future policy direction.
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