Last year, the Florida Standardbred industry faced a devastating blow when the last standardbred race at Isle Pompano Park took place, thanks to the actions of a multibillion-dollar corporation, Caesars Entertainment. The closure of the Isle marked the end of a storied agricultural industry with a multi-million-dollar economic impact across the state, leaving the livelihoods of up to 15,000 Floridians in jeopardy.
During the Special Session on Gaming in May 2021, the Florida Legislature made the decision to decouple standardbred racing, meaning that casinos were no longer required to operate harness racing or standardbred racing. This decision disregarded the industry’s tradition in Florida, which spans over half a century and is an essential piece of the state’s agriculture economy.
Representative Dan Daley is re-filing HB 275 for the upcoming 2023 Legislative Session as a solution to the decoupling of the industry, providing a path forward for harness racing to return to Florida while allowing families in the industry to operate their small businesses and continue raising their families.
Representative Dan Daley issued the following statement: “I’d like to thank the Florida House, Senator Shevrin Jones, and our other Senate allies for their hard work and support since the Special Session on Gaming. These folks sided with Floridians, instead of the world’s largest, out-of-state gaming company, Caesars Entertainment, but unfortunately, it was not enough. I am not giving up on this industry and will be re-introducing legislation allowing a path forward for standardbred racing in Florida. Thousands of families are counting on us to do what is right for Florida.”