On Gretna Racing LLC’s request to the Florida Supreme Court yesterday to review a recent First District Court of Appeal ruling on the implementation of slot machines, Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association President Bill White said:
“It’s no surprise that Gretna Racing LLC is fighting for a slot machine license all the way to the Florida Supreme Court. It’s also no surprise that it’s coming now, as lawmakers are pondering decoupling.
“Essentially, what Gretna Racing wants is ‘defacto decoupling.’ While they’ve been insisting events like ‘pari-mutuel barrel racing’ are legitimate, it’s widely believed by the horse racing industry that year-around slot machines and card rooms are the primary goal.
“The fact is, Gadsden County should never have approved its slot referendum based on ‘pari-mutuel barrel racing,’ which was ultimately ruled to be an overstep of regulatory authority. The real concern here is that the citizens of Gretna and Gadsden County could otherwise have real job opportunities if Gretna Racing were to install real horse racing.
“Whether it’s legislative decoupling or litigation-based ‘defacto decoupling,’ casino-only interests have Florida wired from top to bottom for full-scale gambling expansion either way.”