Ohio HBPA Board Meeting
11:00 am, Thursday, March 11th, 2021
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, Robin Schuster, Kristi Tumblin, Kim Williams
Executive Director Dave Basler, Lobbyist Tom Pappas
Call to Order/ Approval of Minutes:
President Poole called the meeting to order. After discussion President Poole moved and Director Cline seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the January 28th, 2021 Ohio HBPA board of directors meeting. Motion passed.
Special Order of Business
Ohio HBPA lobbyist Tom Pappas discussed strategy advocating the OHBPA’s position on sports wagering to the members of the Select Committee of Gaming appointed by Governor DeWine. Due to the ongoing and sensitive nature of this issue no further details will be provided in these minutes.
Executive Director’s Report:
The executive director updated the board on the latest information regarding the OHBPA’s litigation of the Federal Court case involving retroactive VLT monies owed the horsemen at Belterra Park including deadlines for submissions in the case. Due to the sensitive and ongoing nature of this litigation no further details will be provided in these minutes.
Discussion was held regarding the recently passed federal bill entitled the Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Act with the executive director detailing that the National HBPA and several affiliates would be filing a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of several of the bills elements in Federal Court within the next week.. Due to the sensitive and ongoing nature of this issue no further details will be provided in these minutes.
Purses and Wagering
Basler updated the board on the status of the purse accounts at both Mahoning Valley and Thistledown through the end of January 2021 detailing that the Mahoning Valley purse account balances for all accounts combined held just over $608,000 down more than $1.7 million from the January 2020 ending balances at the track. Basler informed the board that after discussions with Penn National Vice President of Racing Chris McErlean agreement had been reached to maintain the purse structure at the current levels through the end of the winter-spring meet. Thistledown purse account balances for all accounts was over $3.693 million dollars at the end of January 2021 over $1,400,000 ahead of the closing balances for January 2020 at the track. Due to this Basler detailed that agreement had been reached to increase purses for the 2021 meet approximately 11% back to 2019 levels at the track . Handouts were provided to the board showing the 2021 purse structure. Basler informed the board that he had received purse reports from Belterra Park through the end of 2020 showing a closing balance of $1,044,500 compared to a closing balance the previous year of $1,266,771 but that he had pointed out nearly $700,000 in additions to the 2020 closing number to the finance officer at Belterra Park and was still awaiting corrected reports.
Discussion was held regarding VLT results at the three thoroughbred tracks for February 2021 which showed Thistledown net VLT win was up over 8% from the previous February coming in at $13,602,151. Mahoning Valley’s net win for February 2021 came in at $11,075,485 down less than 1% from the previous February while Belterra Park’s net VLT win for February was $6,463,227 down just $9,000 from the prior February’s figure. Basler detailed that is conversations with track management from the three thoroughbred tracks in the state it appeared that VLT numbers had bounced back very well and actually had increased year over year once the curfew had been lifted by the Governor in mid February.
Budget and Finance
Director Royer who also serves as President of the OTBO described recent activities at that organization including a very successful stallion season auction in January and walked through a letter the organization had send requesting funding from the HBPA.
Following discussion President Poole moved and Director Miller seconded a motion that the HBPA contribute $25,000 from the Industry Initiative Fund to support the continuing operations of the OTBO. Motion passed.
Following discussion of a written benevolence request Director McCall moved and Director Doering seconded a motion to grand the request for up to be paid to vendors upon receipt of bills for a retired trainer who has suffered a physical disability. Motion passed.
Discussion was held regarding the date of the next Ohio HBPA board of directors meeting with the board determining Friday, May 14th beginning at 11am at the Ohio HBPA main office as the date and time for the next meeting.
President Poole moved and Director Doering seconded a motion to adjourn. Motion passed.