May 2018

Ohio HBPA Board Meeting
11:00 am, Thursday, May 17, 2018
Sanese Center, Columbus, OH

Members Present:

Directors: Randy Blevins, Bobby Cline, Mark Doering, Jeff Jarvis, Mark Kuntz, Bonnie Rogoff, Mike Rone, Bruce Ryan and Robin Schuster

Members Unable to Attend:

President Joe Poole, Directors: Doug Cowans, Kristina Tumblin

Others Present:

Executive Director Dave Basler, Ohio HBPA Lobbyist Tom Pappas, Ohio Farm Bureau representatives Brandon Kern, Chris Baker

Call to Order/ Approval of Minutes:

Vice President Doering called the meeting to order. After review Director Blevins moved and Director Schuster seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the March 29, 2018 meeting of the OHBPA board of directors. Motion passed.

Special Order of Business

Ohio HBPA lobbyist Tom Pappas gave a legislative update and discussed the upcoming statewide elections. Extension discussion was also held regarding the US Supreme Court’s recent decision overturning PASPA which will allow for sports wagering in the US which is expected to be done legislatively on a state by state basis.

Pappas detailed to the board that there is no pending legislation authorizing sports betting in Ohio but that both Mike DeWine and Richard Cordray, the major candidates for Governor in Ohio in the upcoming election, have said they will explore the issue.

Executive Director’s Report:

The executive director led a discussion regarding the portion of VLT revenue at Belterra Park which will be paid to horsemen pursuant to ORC section 3769-2-43 which included a multi-page email from Joseph Macneil Planning Manager of the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission to Ohio State Racing Commission Chairman Robert Schmitz dated April 24, 2018.

The email detailed the OFCC’s findings regarding Pinnacle Entertainment’s submissions for capital expenditures at Belterra Park under 3769-2-43. Pinnacle submitted a total of $318,065,515 of which the OFCC determined a total of $265,283,060 were allowable expenditures under 3769-2-43.

Basler detailed to the board that based upon this email and a similar presentation made by the OFCC to the OSRC at its April meeting Belterra would be obligated to pay a rate of 10.1% of net VLT net win to horsemen under 3769-2-43.

Basler also informed the board that he had received a phone call from Pinnacle President and CFO Carlos Ruisanchez after the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission presentation to the Ohio State Racing Commission and that Ruisanchez had expressed frustration over the disallowed expense submissions and that Pinnacle intended to take action in an effort to have the decision revisited before the Ohio State Racing Commission ruled on the matter.

The executive director detailed to the board that through the end of March 2018 the escrow account held by Pinnacle Entertainment for Belterra Park which contained the 20% of VLT funds set aside for horsemen which had not been deposited directly to the purse account pending the OSRC’s ruling on 3769-2-43 stood at $5,055,020.

Following discussion Director Jarvis moved and Director Rone seconded a motion that the executive director be authorized to loan from the Industry Initiative Fund up to $2,500,000 against the money held in escrow for Belterra Park to cover any shortfalls in the Ohio Thoroughbred Fund in order to maintain that fund at its current levels until the Ohio HBPA enters into a VLT revenue sharing agreement for Belterra Park with Pinnacle Entertainment, or any subsequent owner of the track. Motion passed.

Discussion was held regarding the recent contract issues involving at both Thistledown and Belterra Park. The resolutions to these contract issues were described in detail to the board by the executive director.

The executive director informed the board of a mailing issue involving the notice of the upcoming Ohio HBPA election that impacted approximately 400 members and had subsequently been rectified so that those members would be receiving their mailings in a timely manner.

New Business:

Purses and Wagering

Basler updated the board on the current status of the purse accounts at all three of the states thoroughbred tracks and discussion was held regarding the numbers.

The executive director provided handouts detailing VLT results at each of Ohio’s seven commercial race tracks for April 2018 showing that Thistledown had on over 10% increase in net win over the April 2017 with Mahoning Valley also showing an increase of nearly 10% in year over year net win in April. Belterra Park showed an increase of approximately $300,000 in net win in April from the previous year with April 2018’s net win coming in at $7,262,270.

Budget and Finance

Brandon Kern and Chris Baker from the Ohio Farm Bureau made a presentation complete with a multi-page full color handout detailing sponsorship opportunities for the Ohio HBPA to partner more closely with the OFB. Kern and Baker also answered multiple questions from board members.

Following extensive discussion Director Jarvis moved and Director Doering seconded a motion that the Ohio HBPA make a five year commitment to the Ohio Farm Bureau from the Industry Initiative Fund as follows; $28,000 per year to sponsor the Explore Ag program, $7,200 a year for 100 memberships to the Ohio Farm Bureau with members to be named going forward; $5,000 per year to a scholarship program with the executive director instructed to finalize details on with Baker. Motion passed.

Extensive discussion was held regarding damage to the medical trailer at Belterra Park with Basler and Director Jarvis detailing that after examination an estimate for over $18,000 was received to remove and clean all mold damage, after which the trailer would have to be completely remodeled with new sub flooring, flooring, ceilings and walls at an additional estimated cost of between $20,000 to $25,000. The board authorized Basler and Jarvis to continue exploring more cost effective options of repairing or replacing the medical trailer.

Discussion was held regarding a request from the Kentucky Chaplaincy program to help in the replacement cost of the HBPA trailer previously used by the chaplain at Belterra Park which was ruined by the flooding. The board took no action on this request.

Discussion was held on a written request from the Ohio Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners organization for $75,000 to support their operations. Director Blevins moved and Director Schuster seconded a motion to make a $25,000 contribution from the Industry Initiative Fund to the OTBO and to reexamine the issue during the next quarter. Motion passed.

Discussion was held regarding the date of the next Ohio HBPA board of directors meeting with the date being set for Monday, July 16th, 2018 beginning at 11am at the Sanese Center.


Director Rone moved and Director Jarvis seconded a motion to adjourn. Motion passed.