2010 Legislative Information
The following information from the 2010 Florida Legislative session was announced by our lobbyist Herb Sheheane and FQHRA President, Stephen D. Fisch, DVM during our June 5, 2010 General Meeting:
1. Hialeah Race Park, Pompano Park, Gulfstream Park are all tracks with Quarter Horse racing permits, and they all qualify for 2000 Class III slot machines. The state take out on these machines was reduced from 50% to 35%.
2. QH permitted tracks have to race a minimum of 20 days in the 2010/2011 fiscal year, 30 day in 2011/2012 & 2012/2013 and 40 days thereafter with a minimum of 8 races per day.
3. The Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering clarified that since the legislature had seen fit to name FQHRA in the Florida statues in the language "a track must have a written, signed agreement with FQHRA or the group representing the majority of the horsemen at the track" that they would consider FQHRA to be the group representing the horsemen at Quarter Horse permitted tracks unless another group provided substantial evidence that they were indeed the new group leading Quarter Horse racing in Florida.
4. Two Quarter Horse permitted tracks in Marion County (one owned by OBS and the other by Michael Goldstein of Pompano Park), one in Gadsden County (40 miles west of Tallahassee on I-10), one in Hamilton County (80 miles east of Tallahassee on I-10), one in Duval County (Jacksonville) and one in St. Johns County (the old Gator Downs) could all operate 24 hour, no limit poker and have the ability to apply for 350 instant racing machines. The instant racing machines will have a 4% state take out. Each track will have to have their senator or representative to ask for legislative approval for the instant racing machines. These tracks also still have a possibility of slot machines in the future. The Indian Compact does not prevent these tracks from gaining slot machines. It does lessen the payout to the state by the Seminoles if they do get slot machines.
Because of the Seminole Compact we did not get all that we wanted, but we did receive more than what we had. If we can sustain the progress we showed at the Hialeah meet, it will strengthen our ability to accomplish more with the legislators in the future. They are looking not only for tax income from the races, but an economic impact on our communities.
Herb Sheheane and Steve Fisch, DVM meet regularly with permitted track owners and have an open line of communication with Richard Hancock, Vice President of the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association. This facilitates both horsemen groups to make the maximum amount of progress with the legislation.