Ohio HBPA Board Meeting
11:00 am, Friday, November 18th, 2022
Ohio HBPA Main Office, Grove City, OH
Members Present: President Joe Poole Directors: Susan Anderson, Linda Carrera, Bobby Cline, Mark Doering, Jeff Jarvis, Bruce Miller, Brian Poe, Mike Rone, George Sikora, Kristi Tumblin
Members Unable to Attend: Robin Schuster
Executive Director Dave Basler, OHBPA Lobbyist Hunter Wright, OTBO Board or Former Board Members Mike Annechino, John Royer, Darryl Duncan, Craig Powell, Dr. Beckett, Robin Murphy, Brian Raimonde
Call to Order/ Approval of Minutes:
President Poole called the meeting to order. After review Director Rone moved and Director Miller seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the September 12, 2022 Ohio HBPA board of directors meeting. Motion passed.
Director Poe moved and Director Cline seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the October 4,2022 conference call of the Ohio HBPA board of directors. Motion passed.
Special Orders of Business;
Hunter Wright from OHBPA lobbying firm Pappas and Associates provided the board with a legislative update detailing the results of the recent election.
Wright emphasized that he believed legislators are prepared to help the racing industry in Ohio if we have specific asks.
Director Jarvis moved and Director Miller seconded a motion that the executive director be authorized to contact officials from the OHHA to see if they are interested in having joint discussions to address potential changes to section 3769 of the Ohio Revised Code. Motion passed.
Executive Director’s Report:
The executive director provided the board an update regarding a mediation session in the Belterra retroactive VLT monies lawsuit in which the two sides did not reach a settlement. Basler also detailed that discovery by both sides in the case had been completed. Due to the sensitive and ongoing nature of all of the legal actions mentioned above no further details of the discussions will be provided in these minutes.
Basler provided updates on HISA including detailing the 2023 assessments set to be charged as well as the various lawsuits still in play. During the meeting the executive director learned of the Fifth Circuit Court decision in the National HBPA case versus HISA which ruled HISA to be unconstitutional. Basler informed the board of the court’s decision.
The executive director and President Poole gave an update on the National HBPA executive committee meeting which took place earlier on the month in Kentucky.
Basler requested permission from the board to work with legal counsel to draft letters to both Jack Thistledown and the OSRC informing both parties that the VLT contract between the Ohio HBPA and Jack Thistledown expires in April and what the consequences of not reaching a new agreement would be. President Poole moved and Director Poe seconded a motion that the executive director be authorized to contact legal counsel and draft letters to both Jack Thistledown and the OSRC putting each on notice that the VLT contract between the Ohio HBPA and Jack Thistledown was set to expire in April, 2023. Motion passed.
Purses and Wagering
Basler updated the board on the current status of the purse accounts at all three Ohio thoroughbred tracks. Showing that all three tracks through the end of September 2022 were ahead of where they were on the same date in 2021. Basler anticipated that Belterra Park ended their meet approximately even in the purse account with 2021 and that Thistledown ended their meet slightly ahead in the purse account from where they ended in 2021. Mahoning Valley began their Fall meeting approximately $500,000 ahead in the purse account from the same point in 2021 with just over $7,300,000.
Basler went through handouts provided to the board showing VLT revenues for the state’s seven commercial racetracks which showed that Mahoning Valley recorded a net win of $13,958,147 in October which was up approximately $580,000 from the October,2021 net win figure at the track. Thistledown showed a $14,614,242 October net win which was down nearly $1,900,000 from the prior year net win in October, The net win at Belterra Park was $6,618,147 in October 2022 which was down approximately over $1.2 million from the prior year figure at the track.
Extensive discussion was held regarding the 2023 Ohio Thoroughbred Fund program including the projected budget for the year.
Director Doering moved and Director Miller seconded a motion that the Ohio HBPA agrees to guarantee the 2023 OTF program maintaining payments in all categories at the same levels as in 2022. Motion passed.
Budget and Finance
Following discussion Director Miller moved and Director Sikora seconded a motion to deny a personal benevolence request. Motion passed.
Extensive discussion was held regarding the proposed 2023 Ohio HBPA budget which was provided to the board in a 6-page handout by the executive director. Director Jarvis moved and Director Cline seconded a motion to approve the proposed 2023 Ohio HBPA budget, Motion passed.
Former OTBO board members Darryl Duncan, Robin Murphy, Dr, Todd Beckett and Craig Powell addressed the board about various concerns they had with the way the Ohio Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners organization was currently operating and handling their finances. OTBO executive director Mike Annechino and President John Royer addressed the board regarding the concerns expressed by the former OTBO board members. Ohio HBPA board members addressed questions to both parties.
Following extensive discussion Director Jarvis moved and Director Anderson seconded a motion that the Ohio HBPA fund $25,000 from the Industry Initiative Fund to the OTBO as requested once the executive director receives the organizations 2021 tax return as well as a profit and loss statement from that year. Motion passed with Director Doering voting no.
The date for the next OHBPA board meeting was set for Friday, January 13th,2023 beginning at 11:00am at the main OHBPA office.
President Poole moved and Director Rone seconded a motion to adjourn. Motion passed.