Letter from the ITHA President Posted On:Aug 17, 2010 | Posted By:Glen
Letter from the ITHA President
While horsemen usually see the glass as being half empty there is also reason to consider it as being half full. As in all industry's, turmoil often presents opportunity. Consider for instance that even though many premium ADW (advanced deposit wagering) content sites remain closed to Illinois handicappers, both on track and OTB wagering have increased. This no doubt has to do with customers who have been betting on-line being forced back to the tracks and OTBs.
Now for the glass half empty. It is not in the long term a good practie to first offer internet gaming on ADW platforms only to close premium sites down to Illinois bettors. Advance Deposit Wagering is an emerging market that certainly will grow in the areas of customer use and handle. The ITHA board members are strong advocates of a "free market" solution to the ADW question but hopes for the industry to work together for a solution to this unfortunate problem.
At the August national Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association meeting, standardizing medication rules were discussed. Horsemen, for as long as I can recall, have longed for more standardized rules across jurisdictions. The standards however would have to give all parties fair representation and input. As a manifestation of a common rule making process the Interstate Racing and Wagering Compact steering committee has completed a draft of a model bill that could be enacted by each state. This bill is pending in New York and has been endorsed by the Association of Racing Commissioners International, Inc. (RCI) the compact uses existing powers of the states to reorganize how certain regulatory decisions are made. It can function with existing staff and in essence serves as a National Racing Commission. This is a step in the right direction to change what has been a failed model especially in the areas of licensing and uniform medication regulation and would serve as an alternative to federal regulation of horse racing.
Regretfully the ITHA and its national group, the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and the HBPA have by consensus agreed to not support the compact in its present form. The deal breaker for the horsemen's groups is centered around exclusions regarding the final rule adaptation which would not be necessarily subject to industry consensus.
Once again, back to the glass half full. Very intelligent and dedicated individuals and organizations are committed to improving the racing industry, both nationally and in our state of Illinois. There is beyond question the expertise and passion to make real changes that will benefit our current racing model. So, the challenge for the ITHA as well as the ITBOF is to work together towards common goals to ensure a stronger industry.
Updates are always available on our ITHA website (www.ITHARacing.com), flyers at the coffee stand or by calling the ITHA office (847) 577-6464.
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