Racino Officials, Horsemen to Meet

Officials at a Florida racino plan to meet with horsemen to discuss racing dates.

by Jim Freer

Isle Racing & Casino at Pompano Park is delaying a decision on possible cancellation of some March and April racing dates.

In an e-mail dated Feb. 17, the Pompano Beach, Fla., harness track told the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association it would not hold Wednesday races from Feb. 27 through the end of April, and not hold Monday races from March 10 through the end of April.

On Feb. 20, Pompano Park senior director of racing Steven Wolf said the track will hold races the night of Feb. 27. Pompano officials will not make decisions on Monday and Wednesday racing in March and April until after a meeting with FSBOA officials, he said.

Wolf expects that meeting will be held no later than Feb. 24. At the meeting, Pompano hopes to arrange a dates plan for the remainder of its meet that runs through August, he said.

“We look forward to any meeting with Pompano Park that could lead to an amicable resolution of the dispute,” said Jeffery Schneider, a partner in Miami law firm Tew Cardenas, which represents FSBOA.

On Feb. 17, Pompano Park, which has slot machines, also said it will cut purses about 35% starting Feb. 22 in an effort to hold purses for its 2007-08 meet to $12 million.

Pompano, owned by St. Louis, Mo.-based Isle of Capri Casinos, also holds races on Friday and Saturday nights. The possible cuts in racing nights are part of a dispute on revenue from slot machines at the casino Pompano opened in April 2007.

For its meet that began in September 2007, Pompano set all-sources purses of $12 million after it could not agree with FSBOA on a contract. Issues include a disagreement over allocation of slots revenue for purses.

In April 2007, the FSBOA filed a civil suit that seeks an order for Pompano to pay a percentage of slots revenue to purses. Attorneys are taking depositions in the suit in a state court in Fort Lauderdale.