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Harrah's Sweetens Offer In Iowa

Published: March 20, 2010 1:06 pm ET

Last Comment: March 24, 2010 10:35 pm ET | 4 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

With a state struggling to balance its budget before legislature adjourns next week, Harrah's has reportedly sweetened its offer by saying it would Iowa $7 million annually for an unlimited period of time in exchange for removing the legal requirement that ensures dates for dog racing at Iowa's greyhound tracks.

According to the Daily Nonpareil, a study commissioned by Harrah’s performed by Christian Capitol Advisors determined that 42 percent of purse money offered to the greyhounds goes to out-of-state owners and breeders.

“We’d rather write the state a check and give 100 percent of the money to Iowa so it can be used for the benefit of all Iowans,” said James Carney, a Des Moines attorney representing Harrah’s. Carney indicated that the percentage of money going out of state might be as high as 46 per cent.

Bob Hardison, president of the Iowa Greyhound Association, said the numbers provided by Harrah’s are misleading. According to Hardison, of the 42 percent in the Christian Capitol Advisors’ study, roughly 80 percent of the money is spent in Iowa on payments for employees, products and services.

“(Harrah’s is) in an all out campaign to try to eliminate us,” said Hardison. “They’re offering a bribe to the state.”

Harrah's first offer was $70 million.

To read the full article, click here.

March 24, 2010 - 10:35 pmSlots were the cure. The

ron francis SAID...

Slots were the cure. The cure is now the killer. Ontario horseman are still enjoying the party, with no thought or regard for the immpending hangover. The party will go on for track operators. Slots money allows them to treat race fans like second class citizens. Racing fans are literally a dieing bred. Why upgrade facilities or market racing? They built it 40, 50 years ago, and we will go until we die. An interesting business plan, indeed.

March 21, 2010 - 5:43 pmi have argued that this

i have argued that this article when it first appeared on standardbred canada as the most important article i had read this year.,and i thought the second most important issue was the lack of targeting of the purse accounts. We now see the future and how racetracks will use this lack of benefit for Ontario residents as a reason to take the slots away. Wake up horseman the racetracks envision the day when racing and slots dont have to go together. The racetracks will argue that takeout is not the problem but instead a lack of interest in betting on harness racing is the issue. They will argue that targeting purses to Ontario residents and ontario sired horses is not important because it does not promote quality racing and it reduces competition. I would bet that 5 years ago the owners of the dog tracks would of argued that the reduction in mutuel
handle was because of a lack of interest in greyhound racing and not the takeout and that targeting purse accounts to iowa bred dogs or residents would hurt the quality of racing. Sometimes it takes a while to build a good story and the horseman and breeders of Ontario are so fragmented at this point that they seem ambivelant to the gathering clouds.

March 21, 2010 - 2:22 pmYou are correct, Ted;

You are correct, Ted; however, it should be shame on the governments for allowing this to happen. Let's not forget that the government still has the ultimate say in what occurs in the racing world. The government in Ontario has forgotten that they allowed slot machines at recetracks to enhance racing. Now it's all about numbers, and the profit margin. Enhancing racing has near been forgotten. Unfortunately, horsemans' organizations are often fragmented and disorganized. Hard for them to make a difference against number crunchers. Let's face it, most horsepeople are all out trying to survive, never mind unite for a greater cause.

March 20, 2010 - 11:05 pmHarness racing will be next.

Ted Fenic SAID...

Harness racing will be next. After they get the dogs out of Iowa, next move will be strategically eliminating harness racing from PA.

Shame on horsemen, harness leadership and racing organizations for allowing these tracks to charge 35% takeout on wagers so that handle is non-existent and the casino companies can use the same no growth/interest argument when they make their offer to PA govt for the extermination of harness racing.

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