Jim Freer

Florida Bill Would Reduce Slots Tax

The Florida Legislature passed a gaming bill May 8 that includes several changes sought by the state's Thoroughbred industry, and a compromise on the contentious issue of table games at the Seminole Tribe of Florida's casinos.

Calder, Horsemen Reach Purse Agreement

Calder, Horsemen Reach Purse Agreement

Calder Race Course announced April 16 that it has signed a 2009 purse contract agreement with the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association. The Miami Gardens, Fla., track and its parent, Churchill Downs Inc., reached the agreement with the Florida HBPA on the evening of April 15.

Minor Details Bid for Most MEC Assets

Minor Details Bid for Most MEC Assets

Technology entrepreneur Halsey Minor said on April 3 that he has submitted a bid to Magna Entertainment Corp. under which he would buy substantially all of that bankrupt company's assets except Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla.

Second FL Bill Leaves Out Racetracks

Members of the Florida House of Representatives March 24 released a draft of a bill that would require the Seminole Tribe of Florida to remove blackjack and baccarat tables from its casinos. The proposal would permit the Seminoles to keep the Class III Las Vegas-style slot machines they began installing at their Florida casinos last summer.

Florida Bill Calls for Gaming Expansion

Florida Bill Calls for Gaming Expansion

The chairman of an important Florida Senate committee March 24 introduced a bill that would allow Gulfstream Park and Calder Race Course to have blackjack and baccarat, while permitting the Seminole Tribe of Florida to keep those two games and add roulette and crap tables at its casinos.

Slots, Indian Gaming on Florida Agenda

The Florida Legislature will begin its annual two-month session on March 3, with the state's Thoroughbred tracks and other pari-mutuels seeking changes in a gaming compact that Gov. Charlie Crist and the Seminole Tribe of Florida signed in 2007.

Gulfstream Retail Development Progresses

Magna Entertainment Corp. and partner Forest City Enterprises announced Feb. 26 the first 32 tenants for the retail portion of their The Village at Gulfstream Park development. Plans for the $1.2-billion complex, adjacent to Gulfstream's clubhouse/casino building, include a hotel and condominiums on the property in Hallandale Beach, Fla. Meanwhile, officials are reluctant to speculate on a possible bankruptcy filing by MEC.

Minor Files Suit Over Hialeah

Minor Files Suit Over Hialeah

Technology entrepreneur Halsey Minor on Feb. 9 filed a civil suit that maintains John Brunetti, by not holding racing at Hialeah Park since 2001, is in default on agreements under which he purchased the historic race track.

Calder Handle Down Significantly

Calder Handle Down Significantly

Wagering in Florida on Calder Race Course's recently concluded Tropical at Calder meet fell 31% in 2008, according to the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering.

Gulfstream Seeking More Dates

Gulfstream Seeking More Dates

In a step some racing industry officials expected, Gulfstream Park has told Florida regulators that it plans to hold races during 2009's last five weeks--a lucrative set of dates on which Calder Race Course has raced exclusively in South Florida for more than a decade.

Gulfstream Banking on 2009 Meet Changes

Gulfstream Banking on 2009 Meet Changes

Gulfstream Park is hoping that a move to a five-day race week will help produce larger fields and attract more live fans and other bettors on days that have proven more popular than its newly-dark Mondays.

Florida DPMW: 27 Days Total for Lopez

Florida DPMW: 27 Days Total for Lopez

The Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering has ordered jockey Pascacio "Paco" Lopez to serve 27 days of stewards' suspensions, including seven days at Gulfstream Park's 2009 meet that begins Jan. 3.

Jockey Lopez Barred From CDI Tracks

Jockey Lopez Barred From CDI Tracks

Churchill Downs Inc. said Nov. 14 that it has barred Pascacio "Paco" Lopez, this year's leading jockey at Calder Race Course, from riding at Calder and other CDI-owned tracks through Jan. 2, 2009, which is the end of the Tropical at Calder meet. The prohibition also includes current meets at Churchill Downs and Fair Grounds.

Letters Critical of MEC's Economic State

San Francisco-based institutional investor Farallon Capital Managment and technology entrepreneur Halsey Minor are separately asking MI Developments Inc. for a major financial shake-up of racing conglomerate Magna Entertainment Corp. MID is the controlling shareholder of the debt-laden racetrack owner.

Order Sought to Halt 'Compact' Gaming

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum on Sept. 19 asked the National Indian Gaming Commission to issue a temporary order to shut down the blackjack and baccarat tables and Class III Las Vegas-style slot machines at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla.

Slots Revenue Agreement OK'd for Calder

Slots Revenue Agreement OK'd for Calder

Churchill Downs Inc. and the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association announced Sept. 10 that they have reached an agreement on a contract for future slot machine revenue at CDI-owned Calder Race Course.

Calder Slots Deal Signed by CDI, FTBOA

Churchill Downs Inc. and the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association announced on Sept. 10 that they have reached an agreement on a contract for future slot machine revenue at CDI-owned Calder Race Course.

State Grants Calder Additional Dark Days

Calder Race Course got state permission to run four days a week instead of five for an 11-week period beginning Sept. 1. The South Florida track has lost horses due to reduced purses that were caused by a lingering dispute over simulcast signal distribution.

'Realities' Force Calder Date Cuts

'Realities' Force Calder Date Cuts

Calder Race Course has asked the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering for permission to hold live racing four days a week, rather than five, during 11 weeks beginning Sept. 1.

Minor Active in Pursuit of Hialeah Park

Minor Active in Pursuit of Hialeah Park

Prospective Hialeah Park buyer Halsey Minor has sent consultants and accountants to examine the closed racetrack, and Minor and Hialeah owner John Brunetti say they are planning more talks on a possible sale.

Hialeah's Brunetti Meets With Minor

Hialeah Park owner John Brunetti and prospective buyer Halsey Minor held their first meeting Aug. 6, with Brunetti later saying "we will have another meeting to see if our common interests are strong enough to continue going forward."

Hialeah Redux: Beyond Brunetti, Minor

Hialeah Redux: Beyond Brunetti, Minor

Hialeah Park owner John Brunetti is looking forward to meeting with prospective buyer Halsey Minor about what he calls multiple "hurdles" to returning racing to the historic track that last held a meet in 2001.

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