Monday, January 11, 2010

Thrasher Responds to Yesterday's Commentary

I received a quick response from Dr. Thrasher on last night's commentary regarding what I perceived to be his "anti-gambling" tone. Yes. The author of "The Impact of Gender and Varsity Athletic Participation on Gambling Attitudes and Subjective Norms of College Students", "The Efficacy of the Theory of Reasoned Action to Explain Gambling Behavior" and "The Efficacy of a Modified Theory of Reasoned Action to Explain Gambling Behavior in College Students", a man who has participated at the National Conference on Gambling and Addiction in Las Vegas and who offered a submission to the 2010 National Council on Problem Gambling Conference wrote to tell me he was not anti-gambling.

Fair enough.

The following is a copy of his clarification. Thank you, Dr. Thrasher, for replying and good luck.

I want to first say that the comments you made about my own personal views were totally wrong. I am not anti-gambling as you would like to feel. I owned and trained thoroughbred race horse for over twenty years. I know the business of horse racing from the breeding, to the sales, to the racing, and finally to the end of racing. Let me say that our prized industry will not be saved by slot money allow. Let me give you some examples of what I think has to be changed to save the industry:
1. The U.S. government changed the tax laws years ago that allowed the owners of racing businesses to claim the losses incurred on their taxes. This must change.
2. The industry has priced itself out of business like the automotive industry did. The price of wages, equipment, etc. have become to high for the same man to keep involved in the business.
3. There is no development in the younger generation for a love of the industry.
4. The jobs available in the industry have been gobbled up by illegal immigrants across America.
5. The few and very few owners of the large horse farms, only make it because of the value of their property. Their property sits in prime locations and banks are eager to lend them money against the property in hopes of failure and therefore the bank will get control of the property.
6. The major racetracks will continue to make money even though they say they don't. Sure a few of the smaller operations will have to merge or face elimination.
7. Slot money is a quick fix. In West Virginia, the racino started and it brought great improvements to all of the horse people in that area. However now the area has seen an influx of new owners and trainers from other states who have come in to claim the increased monies and leave the state's industry in the same trouble as before the slots came.
8 There has to be a compromise in the legislature between Republicans and Democrats before this issue can be settled. As I recall the lottery bill passed by our state in the late 1980's stated the monies earned from the sale of lottery tickets would go to education. If you check now I believe all of the money is diverted to the general fund of the Commonwealth.

These are just a few of the issues facing the horse industry. All of us as Kentuckians owe it to the horse to be sure the game goes on. God gave us this beautiful animal to cherish and not abuse. The horse has a heralded history in the establishment of country. But it has to be done right.
Thanks for letting me answer your comments.

Dr. Robert G. Thrasher

1 comment:

  1. Dr.Thrasher fails to mention one thing. The racing industry has not treated fans well! Admission to CD is cheap but, after that? The food and drinks are way over-priced and there is little selection. As far as taxes, the sales of race horses is not taxed. Why? Arabian princes(you remember where most of the 911 hi-jackers came from?) spend millions of dollars every year buying yearlings with no money going to state coffers. They are using the money we spend on oil! The horse racing industry has recieved a free pass in Ky for decades. Now they say they need more to stay in business. I have yet to see any help from the state for my business or ant other small businesses except farms. The hosre racing industry is not even a significant employer in our state. If the state wants to help preserve jobs let Ford have slots! T.S.Keith