The National Thoroughbred Racing Association presented findings of a study conducted by the National Economic Research Associates (NERA) for the NTRA Task Force on Economic Regulation today at the 27th annual University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program Symposium on Racing in Tucson, Ariz.The task force, formed this year, was convened under Chairman Robert McNair to study key issues relating to the economic regulation of the Thoroughbred racing and pari-mutuel industries. Presenting the findings were Louis A. Guth, senior vice president, NERA, in association with racing consultant Michael D. Shagan. The report concludes that excessive regulation impairs horseracing's ability to compete in the gaming and entertainment marketplace. It specifically recommends that:
- Legislative and regulatory obstacles that prevent the Thoroughbred industry from freely marketing its product be removed
- The horseracing industry be allowed the flexibility to design and price its products
- Tax policies be modified to treat horseracing as a "typical business," specifically, pari-mutuel taxes should be based on takeout rates as opposed to gross handle
- Programs for safety and integrity regulation be well established and adequately funded.
"Second, the business model for Thoroughbred racing has changed substantially... Today, racetracks are multi-faceted entertainment business activities, and a substantial portion of revenues are generated from out-of-state and thus are not even a part of the local state's revenue model. State legislators and regulators have had to struggle to accommodate regulatory policy to this new model, with less than complete success."In addition to Robert McNair, the Task Force includes Douglas Donn, chairman of Gulfstream Park and past NTRA Board member; attorney Mark Fleder of New Jersey, director of the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association; Rick Hiles, Kentucky-based trainer and president of the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association; Robert Kaminski, chairman of Lone Star Park; F. Jack Liebau, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Turf Club; Scott Mordell, CEO of Arlington Park; and John Van de Kamp, president of the Thoroughbred Owners of California and former Attorney General of California. The complete report, "Time to Deregulate: The Case for Thoroughbred Racing," is available in downloadable format at the NTRA Web site, http://www.ntra.com.