Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Gural asks the USTA to study funding plan for testing and marketing

The following is a statement from Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs owner Jeff Gural regarding the results of a poll taken of United States Trotting Association members in slots states over the months of January & February and his thoughts on the topic:

A poll of USTA members in the state of Delaware, New York and Pennsylvania sent to all USTA members in those states has shown overwhelming support for the concept of using a tiny portion of the slots money to enhance the capabilities of testing labs in their efforts to deter the use of non-therapeutic and illegal substances in racehorses.

84% of those responding supported the idea.

The second question relates to using slots money for marketing in conjunction with the racetracks and in that case, almost 87% responded favorably to the idea.

The poll was done by Plante and Moran with the cooperation of the USTA but was paid for by Jeffrey Gural.

Gural commented that he was extremely pleased with the results and truthfully somewhat surprised by the overwhelming support that both ideas had.

He mentioned that he made a similar proposal at the United States Harness Writers Association Banquet and received a standing ovation.

He commented that there appears to be a disconnect between the leaders of the horsemen's association and the members.

He is, however, hopeful that these poll results will finally bring action on the part of the industry to use a small portion of the hundreds of millions of dollars from slots revenue to solve the drug problem, get us on national television and utilize other marketing tools that are available but at the present time unfunded.

Gural has asked the directors of the USTA to take this matter up when they meet next week and form a committee to look into the feasibility of implementing this type of approach in order to accomplish these goals; especially trying to bring younger people into the industry.

As recent events have shown, relying on long-term government support is risky and it is time we take action using the resources that are available to help solve our long and short term problems.