Ohio HBPA Board Meeting
11:00 am, Thursday, December 10, 2020
Ohio HBPA Main Office, Grove City, OH
President Joe Poole Directors: Susan Anderson, Bobby Cline, Mark Doering, Jeff Jarvis, Dick McCall, Bruce Miller, Mike Rone, John Royer, Kristi Tumblin and Kim Williams
Members Unable to Attend: Robin Schuster
Executive Director Dave Basler, Lobbyist Tom Pappas
Special Order of Business
Ohio HBPA lobbyist Tom Pappas discussed bills regarding both Ebingo and Sports Wagering which were pending in the Ohio legislature detailing that none of these bills was likely to pass prior to the end of the session in 2020 and they would need to be reintroduced in 2021 when new legislators were seated in both the House and the Senate. Due to the sensitive and ongoing nature of these proposals no further details will be provided in these minutes.
Call to Order/ Approval of Minutes:
President Poole called the meeting to order. After discussion President Poole moved and Director Miller seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the October 16th, 2020 Ohio HBPA board of directors meeting amending those present to reflect Director Anderson. Was in attendance and adding previous section 4.1 b. of the OHBPA Code of Regulations to the minutes, Motion passed.
Executive Director’s Report:
The executive director updated the board on the latest information on S.4547 “Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act 2020” informing them that information out of Washington was that Senate Majority leader McConnell would try to attach the bill to a piece of year end legislation to avoid having it go through the normal hearing and voting process.
Purses and Wagering
Basler updated the board on the status of the purse accounts at all three Ohio thoroughbred tracks which showed Belterra Park ahead by over $350,000 from the year prior through the end of July based but he detailed corrections needed to be made to the current year reports which would make that number higher. Basler detailed he was working on these issues with track management as well as trying to get up to date purse reports. The Mahoning Valley purse account was down slightly over $900,000 year over year through the end of October. Basler detailed that he was confident that Thistledown ended the meet significantly ahead of where they were at the end of the meet in 2019 but that his most recent purse reports were only through the end of August.
Discussion was held regarding VLT results at the three thoroughbred tracks for November which showed Thistledown net VLT win was down approximately 5% from the previous November coming in $11,301,349 but that the credits played during them month actually exceeded the prior year at the track and that Thistledown was the only one of the 7 racinos in the state where this was the case. Mahoning Valley’s net win for November 2020 came in at $8,805,750 down over 12% from the previous November while Belterra Park’s net VLT win for November was $5,256,744 down 23% from the prior November’s figure. Basler detailed that all seven racinos net wins were down from their previous year figures and speculated that the Governor’s curfew from 10pm to 5am each day may be negatively impacting the numbers.
Extensive discussion was held regarding the proposed 2021 Ohio Thoroughbred Fund Stakes schedule with the board suggesting several changes to the approved 2020 schedule. The executive director was to present the board’s 2021 proposed stakes schedule to the Thoroughbred Advisory Board for consideration the following day.
Government and External Affairs
OTBO President John Royer discussed ongoing operations and led a discussion regarding that group.
President Poole moved and Director McCall seconded a motion to provide $25,000 from the Industry Initiative Fund to support ongoing operations of the OTBO. Motion passed with Director Doering voting no and Director Royer abstaining.
Director Jarvis moved and Director Williams seconded a motion to approve spending up to $100,000 from the Industry Initiative Fund to support ongoing operations of the OTBO and to be paid quarterly upon review of the OTBO’s quarterly financials. Motion failed with Directors Jarvis and Williams voting yes and Director Royer abstaining.
Director Jarvis moved and President Poole seconded a motion that the executive director be authorized and directed to write a letter on behalf of the Ohio HBPA to the Governor supporting Director Williams reappointment to the Thoroughbred Advisory Board. Motion passed.
Budget and Finance
The executive director detailed that member Odin Londono Jr and family. had suffered a house fire that rendered the house a total loss as well as losing all of their possessions in the fire and that he had presented the case to the National HBPA Assistance Committee which had voted to give Londono Jr. $2,500.
Following discussion Director Doering moved and Director Miller seconded a motion that the Ohio HBPA match National HBPA’s $2,500 check to Odin Londono Jr Motion passed.
Discussion was held on a 6-page handout provided to the board detailing the proposed 2021 Ohio HBPA budget which had been previously approved by the OHBPA Budget and Finance Committee.
Director Doering moved and Director Miller seconded a motion to approve the 2021 Ohio HBPA proposed budget as presented. Motion passed.
Discussion was held regarding potential legal action against Belterra Park and others to recover the retroactive VLT monies owed from 2014 through June 2018.
President Poole moved and Director Miller seconded a motion that the Board believes that Belterra Park’s current and former owners have wrongfully withheld from the Association video lottery terminal commissions from approximately May 1, 2014 to July 1, 2018. Now therefore be it resolved that Porter Wright is authorized to file suit on the Association’s behalf against Belterra Park’s current and former owners’; Further resolved, that Dave Basler in his capacity as Executive director of the Association, is authorized and directed to take such action as in his judgment is necessary in connection with the filing, oversight and handling of such litigation; and further resolved that all prior acts and determination of the management, officers and directors of the Association with respect to this matter and hereby approved, ratified and confirmed. Motion passed.
Discussion was held regarding the date of the next Ohio HBPA board of directors meeting with the board determining Thursday, January 28th beginning at 11am at the Ohio HBPA main office as the date and time for the next meeting.
President Poole moved and Director McCall seconded a motion to adjourn. Motion passed.