If you own a horse farm, work, or do business with the horse racing industry or simply live in horse country here in Ocala, Marion County, you need to be aware of an important issue in the Florida Legislature – decoupling.
What’s The Issue?
With no incentive to run less-profitable live racing in order to offer their more profitable gaming activities, racetrack operators are likely to run fewer races or even eliminate live racing entirely. This will have a economic effect on farms, breeders, trainers as well as their suppliers and workers here in Ocala and throughout the state.
The key and most troublesome aspect of Governor Rick Scott’s comprehensive gambling proposal is that the Legislature will consider Florida pari-mutuel operators to offer gaming at their facilities, even when there’s no live race. Currently, these so-called “racinos” could only offer table games, slots and other gambling activities during a jai alai event, dog or horse race.
Under intense lobbying from the dog racing industry whose operators are losing money along with some horse racing facilities, the Governor has included decoupling in the comprehensive package that has the support of the Seminole Tribe. The impact to the horse racing and horse breeding industry here in the Ocala area if this proposal is enacted could be catastrophic.
Why Is This Important To You?
- Live racing days promote investment in Florida green space and agriculture.
- Our billion-dollar horse racing industry employs more than 12,000 statewide, with upside in Ocala/Marion County to all affiliated businesses.
- Live racing days are horse racing investors’ return on investment.
- If you have a business in Florida that has any touch point with the Florida horse breeders, owners and trainers you would be affected if the Decoupling vote passes.
- Buying and selling real estate in the Ocala/Marion County would be affected by Decoupling. Property values could deflate and the equine businesses would face challenges and go elsewhere.
Let you voice be heard. Sign the petition, contact your state legislator and come to a meeting at Showcase Properties on February 11 to learn how you can stop decoupling in its tracks.
Say No to Decoupling Meeting
Thursday, February 11 at 10 AM
Showcase Properties of Central Florida
5780 SW 20th Street,
Ocala, FL, 34474
Tammy Gantt, Assistant VP Industry and Community
Everyone is Welcome! PLEASE RSVP: 352-351-4718