On September 11th, 2008, the Churchill Downs Incorporated has finalized an agreement on a contract to operate slot machines on the Florida racing track. The ten year agreement calls for the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders Association Incorporated to receive 0.75% of the slots profits from the Calder Race Course, which is owned and managed by the Churchill Downs Incorporated from Louisville.
The organization has already finalized an agreement with the Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association on a 2008 purse agreement and slots agreement, both of which possess a ten year term. Churchill Downs plans to invest tens of millions of dollars into constructing and managing a slots establishment at the Calder Race Course, which estimates could result in about $50 million for breeder and horsemen over the span of the agreement.
The Churchill Downs has already invested millions of dollars into getting alternative gambling approved in the state of Florida, including $3.1 million for a 2008 referendum in Miami-Dade County. The Churchill Downs officials hope that the slot machines will be a great attraction for their customers, which in turn will produce a lot of profit for the racing course as well as for the state and the racing industry in Florida.
Citizens for Ocean Pine Equity Lobbies for Portion of Slots Profit
On January 12th, 2009, a group of well-known Ocean Pines residents is the latest to join the long-list of those lobbying the state representative for changes to Maryland’s slots proposal. Roseann Bridgman, the chairwoman of Citizens for Ocean Pine Equity said that they are talking about Ocean Pines getting a portion in the distribution. She added that they feel that they should be included.
The COPE sent letters to Delegates Norman Conway and James Mathias, together with Senator J. Lowell Stolzfus, stating a brand new breakdown of slot machine impact funds that would hand Worcester County fifty-five percent, Ocean City twenty percent, Ocean Pines fifteen percent and Berlin ten percent. Bridge said that Ocean Pines, being closer to the slot machine location than Berlin and Ocean City-which are designated to get ten and twenty percent respectively, of local impact funds, with Worcester County Commissioners handling the remaining seventy percent-should have equal portion to the funding.
Conway said that while suggestions coming from the COPE and Worcester County officials would be carefully considered, it would be pretty difficult to modify the present slots legislation.