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Racing’s new breed

Dec 10, 2002 7:14 AM

   Racing’s attempt to live with, among or without other forms of gambling, will receive a complete review at the 29th Annual Symposium on Racing to be presented Dec. 10-13 by the Race Track Industry at the University of Arizona.

   An entire day, Tuesday, will be devoted to the subject with the keynote address being delivered by Ron Barbaro, chairman and CEO of the Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corp. Barbaro was responsible for guiding and directing the establishment of casinos and racetrack slot operations throughout the Canadian province.

   The “Racing and Gaming Summit” will feature speakers who will focus on the politics, the economic impact and the partnerships necessary for a marriage of the two activities.

   In the first session, Charles Anderer, vice president group publisher, GEM Communications, a co-presenter of the “Racing and Gaming Summit,” will moderate a discussion on “The Economic Impact of Gaming Machines at Racing Facilities.” Participating will be Marc Falcone, managing director, North American Equity Research Group, Deutsche Bank Securities; Michael Tew, gaming and leisure analyst, Bear Stearns, and Bill Eadington, professor of economics, University of Nevada, Reno.

   Patricia McQueen, lottery and racing editor of IGWB, will lead the discussion on “The Racetrack/ Lottery Partnership” with four experienced participants, Dan Bucci of Lincoln Park, Gerald Aubin of the Rhode Island Lottery, John Musgrave of the West Virginia Lottery, and Bruce McKee of Harrington Raceway’s Midway Slots.

   For the panel on “The Politics of Racing and Gaming,” moderator Bennett Liebman of the Albany Law School, has assembled Wayne Lemons, director of the Delaware Lottery; Jane Holmes, executive director of the Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association; Steve Rittvo, president of the Innovation Group, and William San Bento, Jr., a state representative from Rhode Island.

   Exactly how to “Integrate Gaming into the Racetrack Environment,” will be the subject addressed by moderator Mike Shagan, Racing & Wagering Consultant; David R. Pye, Scientific Games Corporation; Saverio Scheri III, WhiteSand Consulting; Bruce Wentworth, Dubuque Racing Association, and Ray Tromba of Louisiana Downs.

   Closing the discussion will be a review of the different types of machines and games under the subject of “The Gaming Product.” Moderator will be Walt Hawkins, director of corporate development, IGT; Don Johnson, video lottery operations manager, Delaware Lottery; Ted Arneault, head of the MTR Gaming Group; Gary Leobig, executive vice president of Multimedia Games, and Gerald Aubin, executive director of the Rhode Island Lottery.

   The “Racing and Gaming Summit” discussions will be held simultaneously with a full days’ review of another major problem confronting the racing industry: insurance.

   Held in two parts, the “Insuring the Racing Industry” will have a full complement of speakers including: Moderator, Lonny Powell, former director of the Race Track Industry Program and currently president of the Racing Commissioners International; Dr. Price Fishback, professor, economics, University of Arizona; John Roark, president, National HBPA, Ed Halpern of the California Thoroughbred Trainers; David Hoskins, Andreini & Company; Chris Scherf, executive vice president, Thoroughbred Racing Associations; Bob Flynn, N.Y. Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association; Randall Hampton, McGriff Seibels & William, and representatives of the Jockeys’ Guild.

   The afternoon session will introduce selected industry representatives participating in a strategic planning session.

   A variety of subjects will be taken on during sessions on both Wednesday and Thursday. They include such items as “National Issues and Perspectives,” and the “Stewards Roundtable.”

   On Wednesday afternoon, the Turf Publicists of America will present the Mark Kaufman Workshop during which panelists will discuss ways in which publicity enhances brand awareness, the bottom line and the facility’s image.

   Thursday’s sessions will review legislation emerging in key states and “Account Wagering — Bettors, Boundaries and Barriers.”

    Bringing the conference to a close on Friday will be a thorough review of the activities of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. Executives of the association are expected to share their vision for the future, including an update on ongoing and forthcoming initiatives.