Ohio HBPA Board Meeting
11:00 am, Tuesday, July 11th, 2023
Ohio HBPA Main Office, Grove City, OH
Members Present: President Joe Poole Directors: Nancy Adams, Susan Anderson, Linda Carrera, Bobby Cline, Jeff Jarvis, Bruce Miller, Brian Poe, Mike Rone, George Sikora
Members Unable to Attend: Mark Doering, Kristi Tumblin
Executive Director Dave Basler, OHBPA Lobbyist Hunter Wright, OTBO Executive Director Mike Annechino
Call to Order/ Approval of Minutes:
President Poole called the meeting to order. After review Director Cline moved and Director Rone seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the May 12, 2023 Ohio HBPA board of directors meeting. Motion passed.
Directors Doering and Tumblin are automatically granted an excused absence for this meeting as it was a live racing day at Thistledown.
Special Order of Business:
Ohio HBPA lobbyist Hunter Wright updated the board on the recently passed state budget which ultimately included language doubling the sports betting tax rate from 10 to 20%.
Executive Director’s Report:
The executive director provided updates on the various lawsuits still in play against HISA.
President Poole moved and Director Poe seconded a motion to enter executive session. Motion passed.
Extensive discussion was held regarding the proposed HISA assessments against either the purse accounts at Ohio tracks or a per start fee at each track. Due to the sensitive and ongoing legal nature of this issue no further details will be provided in these minutes. Ohio HBPA legal counsel Jim Curphey participated in this discussion via phone.
Director Poe moved and Director Cline seconded a motion to end executive session. Motion passed.
Director Poe moved and President Poole seconded a motion that the executive director be authorized to speak with legal counsel and authorize them to enter discussions with HISA legal counsel seeking a stand-still agreement regarding HISA assessments. Motion passed.
Director Poe moved and Director Jarvis seconded a motion that the executive director be permitted to authorize legal counsel to file a complaint as well as seek a preliminary injunction regarding HISA assessments charged to horsemen in Ohio if a stand-still agreement can not be reached with HISA. Motion passed.
Following discussion regarding the Belterra Park retroactive VLT monies lawsuit Director Jarvis moved and Director Adams seconded a motion to make a counter-offer at $50,000 less than our previous offer in an effort to reach a settlement in the case. Motion passed.
Purses and Wagering
Handouts were provided to the board showing VLT results for June at all three thoroughbred tracks in Ohio as well as previous VLT results for comparison purposes. Due to time constraints discussion was not held on these results.
Budget and Finance
OTBO executive director Mike Annechino made a presentation and answered questions from the board regarding a written request for $25,000 in funding from the HBPA to support his organizations upcoming mixed sale.
Following extensive discussion Director Jarvis moved and Director Carrera seconded a motion to table the OTBO funding request. Motion passed with Directors Cline, Poole and Poe voting no.
The executive director explained and provided emails that there has been a problem getting the HBPA’s current accounting firm to commit to performing an audit.
Following discussion Director Jarvis moved and Director Rone seconded a motion that the executive director and staff be authorized to solicit bids from other accounting firms to audit the HBPA’s 2022 financials. Motion passed.
Following discussion President Poole moved and Director Rone seconded a motion to grant a benevolence request in the amount of $1,545 to pay the funeral expenses of a longtime groom at Ohio tracks. Motion passed with Director Poe abstaining.
Extensive discussion was held regarding a quarantine currently in place on two barns at Thistledown due to a confirmed Strangles positive of a horse in one of those barns. Director Cline moved and Director Anderson seconded a motion up to $15,000 be paid from the Industry Initiative Fund to cover testing expenses on horses required to be tested for Strangles who were or had been stabled at Thistledown. Motion passed.
Following discussion President Poole moved and Director Poe seconded a motion to provide $2,000 to help pay for expert witness testimony in a HISA banned substances case against one of our members.
The date for the next OHBPA board meeting was set for Friday, September 15th, 2023 beginning at 11:00am at the main OHBPA office.
President Poole moved and Director Rone seconded a motion to adjourn. Motion passed.