AP Proposes ITHA Waive Signal Rights Posted On:Apr 27, 2012 | Posted By:Glen
Arlington Contract Proposal to ITHA Includes Waiver of Signal Rights
In response to a contract proposal from the ITHA for the 2012 Meeting, Arlington Park has responded with its own contract proposal to the ITHA which, among other take-aways from the horsemen, would require the horsemen to waive their rights under the Interstate Horse Racing Act to control the export of their transmitted signal. The Arlington 2012 meeting starts on May 4, 2012 and Arlington has set a deadline of April 30, 2012 at 5pm for a contract to be signed or Arlington will institute a 20% purse cut to overnights beginning opening day.
Arlington also seeks to reduce the payment to purses from shares of gross commissions on imported and exported simulcasts, by the taxes and all other statutory and contractual payments it owes, and also seeks to eliminate the 50% share the purses receive from gross fees the track receives for exported simulcasts.
Among the other draconian changes from previous contracts, Arlington's proposal includes the withdrawal of Arlington's support for ITHA's thoroughbred race horse retirement program called Galloping Out which is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that was created by the ITHA in 2010 in cooperation with Arlington and Hawthorne Racecourse. Arlington also wants to restrict the position that ITHA takes regarding the extension of the current ADW law.
Arlington's proposed contract between the track and horsemen contains dozens of changes from past contracts which generally removes any necessity of the track to consult in good faith with, let alone seek the approval of, the horsemen in connection with proposed condition books, stakes schedules, overnight stakes, average daily purse amounts, etc., along with serious restrictions regarding the operations of the ITHA and protection of ITHA members and Directors from discrimination or retaliation in connection with their activities and membership in the ITHA or any national organization to which the ITHA may belong.
Among Arlington's new asks, are for ITHA to pay half the cost of manure removal (100s of thousands of dollars per year), assist in the costs of housing for backstretch workers, and $1,000 per week rent for the ITHA trailers on Arlington's backstretch that was provided to the ITHA from the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
ITHA's key contract requests included extending the 2012 contract to the start of the 2013 Meeting, re-addressing the distribution of the approximately $26 million Impact Fees which were released to the Arlington purse account in August 2011 and reinforcing ITHA's independence and input in horsemen's issues. New asks of the horsemen were to split evenly losses to the purse account for stakes races on Million Day and to defer recapture payment of $4.8 million from the purse account to Arlington until an equal sum is received from the Des Plaines casino money, slots at tracks or a new impact fee. The horsemen's purse account at Arlington lost $1.4 million on Million Day in 2011 and this year Arlington added a new $400,000 non-graded stake race on that day.
Arlington's proposed 2012 contract does not include ITHA's requests and does not address them.
ITHA is seeking mediation to help resolve this situation.
Michael B. Campbell, ITHA President Glen E. Berman, ITHA Executive Director