New York Thoroughbred Horsemen: Do Not Let Your Governor Dissolve Your Governing Body the New York State Racing and Wagering Board and Place You Under a Gaming Board.

Cuomo: Create N.Y. State Gaming Commission

By Tom Precious – BloodHorse
Updated: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 4:04 PM
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 8:15 PM

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to eliminate the state’s chief racing industry regulatory body and merge it with an agency that now runs the state’s lottery and racetrack VLT programs.

The plan, contained in Cuomo’s 2012 budget proposal released Jan. 17, would merge the state Racing and Wagering Board with the state Lottery Division into the New York State Gaming Commission.

The idea comes as Cuomo is also pushing a change in the state constitution to expand casino gambling on non-Indian lands — an effort he says would be worth “a relatively conservative estimate’’ of $1 billion.

The governor, who has called for a top-down examination of the racing and gambling industry in New York, also proposed creating a new “independent’’ Office of Racing Development and Promotion to assume the operational functions of three existing funds: the state Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund, the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund, and the state Quarter Horse Breeding and Development Fund.

The budget would also cut the number of state government workers assigned to oversight work at harness tracks.

“The gaming industries constitute a vital sector of New York’s overall economy and their continued growth would contribute to the economic development and job creation in New York state,’’ states a legislative memo by the administration in promoting the merger of the racing board and lottery agency and the new breeding fund program.

“At present, there is not overall coordination of gaming policy and regulation. Regulation of gaming must be conducted in the most efficient, transparent, and effective manner possible,’’ the memo states.

“Consolidation of various regulatory functions into a single oversight body with broad powers would increase efficiency, reduce costs, and eliminate unnecessary regulation redundancies,’’ it adds.

The administration says it is seeking a “robust’’ regulatory structure to better ensure gambling is conducted with the “highest integrity, credibility, and quality.’’

The plan, if approved by the legislature, would take effect May 1.

The racing board regulates the horse racing industry, as well as gambling by charitable organizations, off-track betting corporations, and Indian-owned casinos. The state lottery division, besides overseeing the state’s lottery games, regulates the VLT casinos operating at New York’s racetracks.

The new commission would be composed of five members, who would serve at the pleasure of the governor. The commission would have broad investigatory powers over the gambling industry, including the right to “monitor’’ the activities of anyone or any entity involved in gambling. People involved in any aspect of the gambling industry during the previous three years would be banned from serving as a commission board member, the legislation states, and there would be a ban on revolving door employment within the industry for four years by departing commission members or officers of the agency.

Any rules or orders in effect by the two agencies would continue with the merged entity.


This is what our Governor did here in Michigan in 2009. Governor Jennifer Granholm. Horse Racing was under Agriculture since the passing of the pari-mutaul law in 1933. After this crazy woman dissolved The Office Of Racing Commissioner then placed Horse Racing here also under GAMING. We died, LITERALLY.

Yes N.Y. has allowed slots at Aqueduct and Gov. Cuomo does seem to understand the importance those slots not only brought to that race track but to the State itself. But UNLESS at the very same moment he does create and put into place a new “independent’’ Office of Racing Development and Promotion to assume the operational functions of three existing funds: the state Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund, the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund, and the state Quarter Horse Breeding and Development Fund.

Then do not stand still for the dissolving of New York State Racing and Wagering Board. They and they alone look out for HORSE RACING.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board slaughtered our racing dates the second they placed us under them. They allotted Pinnacle Race Course 84 dates both in 2010 and from there it went to 38, 8 and then just 3.

Stating the very same reason that now your Governor wants to do away with. Cost Cutting. As the article states 5 members will serve at his pleasure. Yeah an appointed Director and a four member board of the MGCB whose only job was to oversee CASINOS had absolutely no interest what so ever in Horse Racing. To us it was the first step to rid the State of the Horse Racing Industry here period. And they’ve done an excellent job thus far. Mind you nobody here in Michigan has the brains to understand just how much more revenue could be brought in with Racinos. Governor Granholm never gave one thought about dissolving our ORC let alone two. She just stripped us from out of where we began under and let the Gaming Board devour us.

The only reason that the States three Harness tracks still survive is because of the Thoroughbred Simulcasting Signal. Something I thought we should have killed when they decided to hack our 2010 racing meet at PRC. Instead it was the Horsemen & Women that paid the State and bought some of those dates back and they paid for it with their purses.

It should have never happened. The MIHBPA here are afraid of their own shadows, they would have rathered paid than fight the State’s decision that destroyed us. Going to a half mile Quarter Horse track last year as if it was a must. They have never stood still here for one brief moment to give one single thought of fighting anybody and that is why we are at present in the same identical predicament in 2012.

The owner of Pinnacle Race Course Jerry Campbell was all too happy to let the Horsemen pay the tracks bills along with buying these dates back from the Gaming Board/State. PRC never got finished and fully built then Campbell booked. He seems to have a thriving banking business in Florida but refused to pay his bills when the State stepped in after allowing for tax breaks to get PRC built only to turn around and hack the place back down with the dissolving of the ORC and letting the MGCB finish us off.

Yes New York has proven itself no Michigan and has done things differently to aid the Horse Racing Industry nevertheless I still would voice my opinion about what Gov. Cuomo wants to do. To do away with New York State Racing and Wagering Board then placing you under Gaming without something else put in its place immediately could prove disastrous for you in the future if Cuomo’s proposal of creating a new office to oversee the three entities for the breeding funds never comes into place. He may be pushing for a change in the state constitution to expand casino gambling on non-Indian lands but that will come at the legislative end and if it doesn’t get the vote you will be left hanging.

And believe me when I tell you, you don’t want to be left under a board that only cares about Casinos. Slots or not. The Thoroughbred Horse Industry must protect itself from any attempts anyone may have about taking their voice away. At present we have one House Introduced Bill 4151 (2011)– Sponsors Cindy Denby – (primary)
Eileen Kowall, Kenneth Kurtz, Kevin Daley, Bill Rogers that would finally require representation of equine industry interests on the MGCB. Something we haven’t had since Gov. Granholm dissolved the ORC in 2009 and took us from AG.

When you take away the racing industry’s regulatory body and merge it with an agency that now runs the state’s lottery and racetrack VLT programs. It spells LIVE RACING can be done away with in the future. And the Horsemen/Women can not afford to let their guard down for one single moment. I’m not even saying that this is what this Governors intention is, but if he ever gets voted out what may be on the next one’s agenda you will never know nor will you ever want to find out.

Protect yourself. The NYRA only operates the three major New York tracks, but The New York State Racing and Wagering Board is the official governing body that oversees horse racing. And you need this groups protection that looks out solely for Horse Racing. New York State Racing Commission has been in existence since 1895, the Wagering part was only meant to be an advisory board when they were added in 1973. They were added to look out for the lottery anyway. So what is it that Cuomo is really dissolving and merging here?

In reality what Gov. Cuomo is proposing is the same exact thing that Grabholm did. Dissolve the Racing Commission which was under Agriculture and CUT OUR THROATS placing us under GAMING.

Don’t let it happen New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association.

You are not afraid to fight, you showed that when ALL refused to brings up horses for a race at Aqueduct in protest. If the Michigan Horsemen would have had those balls we may not be sitting in our current situation which is NO WHERE.

More Harness bullshit petitions that have not one single provision for Live Racing, Contractual Agreements with neither the Thoroughbred or Harness organizations, Simulcasting or Purse structures. You see Dan Adkins for Hazel Park Harness Raceway’s Owners Hartmen & Tyner don’t want a race track anymore either. They just want the CASINO part of it. And that is not going to happen.

And as far as that goes if the TB horsemen have nowhere to race in 2012 I encourage as I have for well over a year now the pulling of the TB signal out of this State. Without that signal the Harness will finally understand that they are nothing without the Thoroughbreds. Never have been and never will be. And Michigan will finally realize the revenue lost with Horse Racing finally completely gone.

Fight New York TB Horsemen/Women, Do Not Allow your Governor to Dissolve your governing body because it destroyed the Industry here.

Gaming will be handing you your dates then taking them all back citing no funding.

Heads Up.


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