Slots at the Tracks Bill from the ITHA Posted On:Apr 24, 2010 | Posted By:Glen
Slots at the Tracks Bill
The ITHA and IHHA reached a tentative agreement with the racetracks regarding a bill to allow electronic gaming at the tracks. After months of negotiations, the agreement signed by the tracks and the horsemen will provide millions of dollars for purse accounts.The language of the bill is still being drafted and this is still a work in progress.We are cautiously optimistic that an agreed bill will be formalized next week.
The original bill filed by the tracks gave us an 11% flat rate of adjusted gross revenues (AGR) from the slots. That bill also had all items the tracks consider "horsemen related benefits" coming out of that 11% including RICF, Breeders Fund and Breeders Awards.The tracks' bill also had a 4 year phase out of recapture.
As a result of our negotiating efforts we have an agreement on a sliding scale that gives us 12.75% at $25 million AGR, 16.95% at $125 million AGR and 18.53% at $225 million AGR.
Here is the agreed schedule:
AGR less than $75M-12.75%
AGR over $125M-20.5%
The agreement also includes the following: Recapture ends upon the opening of the gaming facility; RICF remains the tracks' obligation; Breeders' Fund remains funded from purse account; Breeders Awards increase from 12.5% to 13% (with the extra 0.5% going to breeders administrative costs) and are split 50/50 between tracks and purses; and guarantee of live racing - 2500 thoroughbred races at Chicago area tracks unless agreed by horsemen for lesser schedules.
The ITHA Board unanimously approved this agreement.
This was an important first step in the process but is only a first step. This is far from a done deal.If we can agree to bill language we will need all of our membership to contact their legislators to help get this bill passed.