To keep Florida a strong, competitive economic force in the global horse racing industry, Sunshine State elected officials should “ . . . take all necessary actions to stop any legislative efforts to bifurcate gaming activities and live horse racing,” the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) wrote to Florida Governor Rick Scott and legislative leaders recently.
National HBPA CEO Eric Hamelback addressed Florida’s top elected officials on behalf of nearly 30,000 Thoroughbred owners and trainers throughout the United States and Canada. The organization, which is dedicated to the growth, stability and well-being of the Thoroughbred racing industry and horse racing industry overall, has 29 other affiliate chapters including Florida, making it the largest horsemen’s organization of its kind.
Decoupling legislation would have a devastating effect on Florida’s horse racing and breeding industry, likely causing the rapid replacement of live horse racing with stand-alone casinos, Hamelback explained. This would result in the loss of substantial economic benefits that Florida enjoys from horse racing-driven tourism and small business creation, he added.
“Certainly, casinos would welcome the ability to conduct business without the additional expenses of live horse racing that supports this economic impact,” Hamelback said. “Decoupling would be great for casinos, but bad for Florida.”
Headquartered in Kentucky, the National HBPA has been representing the interests of Thoroughbred owners and trainers since 1940.
For tips on writing your own letter to your Florida Senator and State Representative, go to www.NoDecoupling.com.
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Florida horsemen are gravely concerned that “decoupling” will trigger a statewide gambling avalanche, extract money out of Florida’s economy and siphon it back to Big Casinos, disabling our heretofore successful horse racing industry from competing for business with other, more horse racing-friendly states. “Decoupling” tells potential investors that “Florida is closed for business.” NoDecoupling.com is an advocacy outreach by United Florida Horsemen, which comprises nearly 350,000 horsemen from the Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, the Florida Quarter Horse Racing Association, the Florida Quarter Horse Breeders’ and Owners’ Association, Florida Standardbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association, National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, American Quarter Horse Association and U.S.Trotting.