Posted on: January 27, 2022 Posted by: Robert Davis Comments: 0

Posted on: January 26, 2022, 03:16h. 

Very last up to date on: January 26, 2022, 03:41h.

Florida’s beleaguered harness racing market is suing the state’s Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering above the new “decoupling” law that threatens to eradicate its activity and livelihoods.

Pompano Park
Sweet Heaven, driven by John MacDonald, winning at Pompano Park in December. But harness racing’s times are numbered in Florida. (Picture: Jessica Hallett/Harness Backlink)

Also named in the lawsuit is Pompano Park. That’s Florida’s only surviving harness racetrack, owned by Caesars Entertainment, which operates the Isle Casino there.

Thanks to a regulation passed by the condition legislature in May, the monitor is no more time expected to fulfill a quota of reside harness racing as a condition of its license to provide other, much more beneficial, card online games and gaming equipment.

The exact same applies to pari-mutuel venues that were earlier required to run a quota of puppy racing and jai alai matches. But, crucially, not racetracks that function thoroughbred horseracing.

Unequal Security

The Florida Standardbred Breeders & House owners Association (FSBOA) is the plaintiff in the lawsuit, seen by The Solar-Sentinel. FSBOA argues the regulation violates the equivalent protection clause of the US Constitution due to the fact it most likely punishes harness racing even though shielding thoroughbred racing.

“As a result of the enactment [of the law], the harness horsemen who have historically participated in dwell harness racing at Pompano Park are becoming taken care of differently, and in a far a lot less financially favorable fashion, than the in the same way situated horsemen who participate in thoroughbred racing at the facilities of Florida’s thoroughbred permit holders,” reads the lawsuit, as noted by The Sunlight-Sentinel.

It is FSBOA’s contention that no legitimate reason exists for this variation in therapy amongst horsemen performing similar, if not identical, horse racing activities,” the lawsuit proceeds.

FSBOA also argues that the decoupling evaluate qualifies as an unconstitutional “special law,” due to the fact it applies only to Pompano Park and proprietor Caesars, and not the thoroughbred racetracks.

Caesars has not publicly stated whether it’s curtains for harness racing at Pompano Park at the end of the 2022 calendar, though the expectation is that it will be. Soon after all, the on line casino huge has shareholders to please.

Seminole Compact Voided

The decoupling steps were being tied to the new Seminole compact, negotiated between the tribe and Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis.

The compact, worthy of billions to the state in income sharing, gave the Seminoles the distinctive rights to on line and retail athletics betting in the point out, as nicely as roulette and dice game titles at its seven Hard Rock casinos.

Decoupling, and the capacity to include more gaming machines, moreover athletics betting in partnership with the tribe, was thrown in as a concession to the pari-mutuels.

In November 2021, a federal choose nullified the overall compact for the reason that it allowed the Seminoles to take sporting activities bets outdoors tribal land in violation of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

But the enabling state laws that accompanied it continues to be.

The irony is that racetracks have been at first granted card tables and gaming equipment to aid develop and shield are living pari-mutuel racing, breeding, and racing infrastructure. That indicates harness racing in Florida is possible to be killed off by the gambling expansion that was meant to support it.