BILL SUMMARY for SB09-174
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE
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11:55 AM -- Senate Bill 09-174 -- Concerning Pari-Mutuel Racing
Representative Casso, prime sponsor, explained the provisions of the bill and responded to questions regarding the change in funding in the bill from the prior committee of reference.
Under current law, an in-state simulcast facility located on the premises of a Class B racetrack may receive up to 250 days of simulcast horse races per year from an out-of-state host racetrack. He continued by saying that SB09-174 eliminates the cap on simulcast race days and authorizes the Colorado Racing Commission to make that determination. Representative Casso briefly noted that the bill also makes modifications to the regulation of pari-mutuel racing. After a brief committee discussion, the committee heard testimony.
The following persons testified:
11:58 AM -- Mr. Dan Williams, Mile High Racing and Entertainment, testified in support of the bill and discussed the initial legislation that he sponsored in 1991 (Senate Bill 91-099) to bring back horse racing to Colorado. Mr. Williams continued by saying that Senate Bill 09-174 does not expand gaming in Colorado but allows flexibility to the horse racing industry in Colorado. Mr. Williams noted that the horse industry is the only industry in the state that pays cash-funding for regulation and a separate tax for horse racing (pari-mutuel tax). The committee discussed the role of the racing commission given the industry downturn. Mr. Williams continued by discussing the future of horse racing in Colorado and commented on the ongoing role of the racing commission. Mr. Williams closed by discussing funding in the bill. Without this bill, horse racing in Colorado will not survive.
12:24 PM -- Mr. Eric Morgan, Colorado Greyhound Kennel Association, spoke in opposition to the bill. He discussed how the bill provides a disincentive for race tracks to hold live greyhound racing and noted that the amendment that the Agricultural Committee adopted would limit funding for Colorado State University's equine program. He closed by saying that the passage of this bill would remove any incentives for live Greyhound racing in Colorado.
12:35 PM -- Ms. Shannon Rushton, Colorado Horse Racing Association, spoke in favor of the bill and discussed her experience in the racing industry.
12:43 PM -- Mr. Dan Hartman, Colorado Division of Racing, responded to committee questions about the fiscal note. The committee discussed the changing economic environment that has affected the Greyhound industry.
01:05 PM -- Mr. William Alexander, representing himself, spoke in support of the bill and provided a handout on the bill's potential to increase state tax revenue and Colorado jobs (Attachment A). Mr. Alexander discussed declining racing trends across the country.
01:10 PM -- Ms. Karen Cloud, Red and Jerry's, testified in support of the bill and noted that the bill will level the playing field for the industry.
01:14 PM -- Mr. David Hoffman, Colorado Division of Racing, testified in support of the bill.