Hundreds of horse enthusiasts, including Farm Bureau members, rallied at the Statehouse last month.

Equine enthusiasts call for slots at racetracks

Buckeye Farm News

Members of Ohio’s equine industry rallied at the Statehouse last month to support a measure to place slot machines in Ohio racetracks.

Supporters say this would provide an economic boost to the industry and recover as much as $1.2 billion in gambling income lost to surrounding states that are growing more favorable to equine businesses.

“The horsemen of Ohio have done nothing wrong,” said John Mossbarger, a Farm Bureau member who operates Midland Acres horse farm in Fayette County. “It’s what’s happening in other states that has changed the game.”

A proposal by the Ohio Racing Commission, and supported by Ohio Farm Bureau, would put language into the state budget that would open the door to slot machines at racetracks.

Ohio’s equine industry employs 15,000 and at one point had a $900 million economic impact. But as the racing industry has developed in other states, Ohio has lagged behind.

 “I think it’s time to be heard,” Mossbarger said. “The real people and the real jobs have been ignored.”

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