So who controls the purse account? While it is the horsemen's money, they traditionally get their say through a labor contract with the racetracks which is currently being negotiated. The tracks, in an effort to say 'Okay, you want to race for $X a night, that's fine, we will save money by axing Wednesday nights' which in effect cuts the overall purses being paid out and gives horsemen less racing opportunities.
The tracks were wrong to go to the IRB to cut Wednesdays out of the schedule until contract negotiations were complete and one hopes the racing board will 86 the request. Horsemen should be able to race for decent money but need to realize racetracks have money invested in the industry as well. If the well runs dry, horsemen aren't going to say here is some money to keep things operating.
Both sides need to reach a compromise that both sides can live with (meaning they both will be unhappy somewhat), yet realize the possibility of alternative gaming in the Prarie State is a distinct, though not guaranteed, possibility. It is time to stop the sabre rattling and get down to serious negotiations.
In an editorial by an Iowa State Representative, you can read how the casino industry is determined to kill off the greyhound industry by any means possible. You may wonder why this commentary is important. Let's look at the dynamics.
- Racinos are allowed at racetracks to promote and diversify the agricultural industry.
- Casinos come in promising to promote racing while they build the casinos.
- Casinos do nothing to promote racing.
- Casinos seek to get rid of racing, saying it is a dead industry. Offer to pay $70 million (then upped to $100 million) if state allows them to get rid of racing. State tells them no; if they want to kill of racing, deal with the breeders directly.
- Casinos go to a couple of cities telling them they may close casinos and close off the revenue stream if they don't support getting rid of racing.
- Casinos give greyhound industry a take it or leave it $70 million offer to shut down greyhound racing.
- Greyhound industry objects and wonders about the promises made when casinos were allowed. Casinos tell greyhound industry, they have the votes to get rid of racing; take the offer (we will see if this happens).
What is the importance of this? Change the words greyhound racing to your favorite form of racing (harness in my case) and can you see this happening in your state? This should be getting you nervous.
And the rich get richer. So Nuncio joins Father Patrick in the Takter stable. Jay Bergman decries the stables which seem to get all the horses and talks about how bad it is for racing. This year the Presidential series was cancelled because most of the horses entered were from the Burke Stable. Yes, people have the right to choose the trainer of their choice but it is going to kill this industry. The article is a must read article.