Economist: Amendment 13 criticisms ‘incorrect, not supportable’

Greyhound racing

In a new report for backers of a proposed constitutional amendment on greyhound racing, economist and financial advisor Hank Fishkind says “claims that Amendment 13 would cause economic harm are incorrect and not supportable.”

Carey Thiel asked Fishkind, a former University of Florida economics professor, to “review claims of economic damage” by the amendment from its opponents. Thiel leads GREY2K USA Worldwide, which supports a ban on betting on live dog racing in Florida.

In Florida, live dog racing is still conducted at 11 tracks. Here are highlights from Fishkind’s analysis:

— “Losses in employment would be offset by the improvement in the overall economic position of the operators. Thus, claims of job losses are unsupportable.”

— “In stark contrast to the claims of economic damage flowing from passage of Amendment 13, passage would have a positive impact on the greyhound racing industry, and little if any impact on Florida’s economy.”

— Those opposing the amendment “provided no economic studies or data to back up their claims of economic damage.”

— “Essentially, greyhound racing is a dying sport that has been losing money for years … Therefore, it is clear from these longstanding trends that greyhound racing is dying out as market demands (and) tastes have changed.”

In 1980, Fishkind became the associate director for programs at the University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research, his bio says.

During his tenure at the university, Fishkind served from 1979-1981 on the Governor’s Economic Advisory Board.

He began his career as a private sector consultant when he became president of M.G. Lewis Econometrics in Winter Park. In 1988, Fishkind formed Fishkind & Associates “as a full service economic and financial consulting firm.”

His full analysis is below.

Staff Reports


41 comments

  • Carey Theil

    October 2, 2018 at 10:10 am

    Our economy should not be based on cruelty to dogs. Greyhound racing is cruel and inhumane, and that’s why Florida is going to vote #YesOn13!

    • Don Goldstein

      October 2, 2018 at 10:27 am

      It’s good to see a recognized expert support our position. As mentioned by the CRC, this really isn’t about jobs, it is about what is right. The voters of Florida will approve Amendment 13 because Florida is better than this. #YesOn13.

      • Andy

        October 3, 2018 at 10:27 am

        What is right huh? So it’s right to pay yourselves over 100k a year and give less than 1 percent to any greyhound? So it’s right for HSUS to pay a witness to lie? So it’s right to scam people by demonizing and lying about an entire industry to put it out of business? You people are lunatic Fringe scum, simple as that.

      • steve grabarczyk

        October 4, 2018 at 11:18 pm

        See don you ar LYING AGAIN. Can’t you ever type without LYING CHAIRMAN BERUFF: A follow up question. I
        did call the Secretary of DPBR, something like
        that, that one, to ask the question of the
        financial impacts on the State because I was —
        I took, you know, I listened to the audience as
        they spoke and how it costs us more to regulate
        than what it generates and so forth.
        And I was — his answer was, we take in
        more revenue than it costs to regulate that
        industry. So it is a little bit different than
        the — what you have said. So I am — and I
        had this discussion, what is today, today is
        Tuesday, I must have had it Thursday of last
        week or Friday, so it is very fresh in my mind.
        So there is a disconnect between what you
        say and what I saw, so what how, what do you
        attribute that to?

    • Eric Lee

      October 2, 2018 at 10:30 am

      Thankyou Fishkind for this sound analysis that clearly articulates the truth! Yes on 13!

    • Libby Towne

      October 2, 2018 at 10:50 am

      Wow! Sounds like Florida’s economy would actually benefit if greyhound racing ends. I will vote Yes on 13.

    • Joyce Carta

      October 2, 2018 at 10:58 am

      “Job losses unsupportable.” Cruelty and abuse undeniable. Continuation of this dying relic of yesteryear’s “entertainment” untenable. We can and will end this on November 6th. Vote YES on 13.

      • Steven M Grabarczyk

        October 2, 2018 at 11:04 am

        Hey Joyce, newsflash, if I wanted to I could pay a couple thousand from a person way more educated than Mr. Fishkind to do a report that says exactly the opposite. Just another smokescreen that leaves out a few important points, mainly the report says the revenue will be made up and then some by the EXPANSION of gaming at the facilities which you charlatans have been saying is not the case LOL. Burned by your own paid for “report”

        • Michael Weisensee

          October 2, 2018 at 11:30 am

          Getting rid of gambling on live dog racing is not an expansion of gambling. How can eliminating an entire gambling industry (live dog racing) be an expansion of gambling? As the report states, the tracks have a combined operating loss of $35-million. Get rid of an economic drain is not the same as expansion, it’s smart free-market principles. I don’t want Florida business owners and taxpayers giving hand-outs to a small handful of people making a living off the backs of greyhounds, many of which are out-of-state.

        • Fred Barton

          October 2, 2018 at 12:43 pm

          Then why don’t you do it Steve? Counter facts with facts for a change instead of bluster.

          • Andy

            October 3, 2018 at 9:29 am

            Why dont you admit that youre a liar Freddie, like your dear leaders, why don’t you admit being in bed with rackateers and terrorists is perfectly fine with you, anything your side puts out is at best distorted

          • Andy

            October 3, 2018 at 9:39 am

            You mean like your lie about deaths being race related were countered with the fact is wasn’t true?

      • Andy

        October 3, 2018 at 9:41 am

        Don’t count your chickens before they hatch mule abuser, the NRA says you lose. You people are lunatic Fringe lying zealots

    • Leslie Sardinia

      October 2, 2018 at 12:11 pm

      The only reason Greyhound Racing still exists is because of the slots. In order to get gambling they were forced to keep the dogs. So the cruelty continued, NOT because the casino’s wanted them, it was and still is Mandatory to keep them running. Running in front of empty stands. The time has passed, it’s OVER. Yes, there will be jobs lost, that’s life people. We are in the book business, we lost half of our revenue when e-books came out (kindle), and book sales continue to decline, but we moved on, we shifted gears, changed coarse, we can’t force people to buy an actual book! The greyhound industry CAN NOT keep their inhumane antiquated practice, because someone might lose their job. END THE SUFFERING #YesON13. For the dogs🐾

      • Andy

        October 3, 2018 at 1:18 pm

        That just shows you have no clue what you’re talking about, card rooms are coupled with racing, not slots

    • DW

      October 2, 2018 at 1:00 pm

      Agreed, the welfare of the dogs should be the primary concern, although I do appreciate the economic explanation.

      • Dick Ciampa

        October 2, 2018 at 1:33 pm

        I agree with you about the welfare of the dogs and while G2K says the way the dogs are treated is cruel and inhumane the State of Florida doesn’t agree with them.

        You can either believe the people that are looking for your donations to live on or you can believe the State of Florida.

        The people that need your donations for their salary are in Massachusetts and have never been in a greyhound kennel, that is why they have to steal pictures the kennel people post, or you can believe the inspectors from the State of Florida.

        What would you do if you thought an animal was being treated in an inhumane way? Report the infraction to the proper people of post it online to raise donations for yourself?

    • Bob Ross

      October 2, 2018 at 2:38 pm

      Funny, weren’t you the one who said out of state opinions weren’t worth a damn on Jennifer Ng’s article? And yet here you are paying consultants out of Massachusetts for propaganda.

      I’m not sure if your mommy didn’t let you have a puppy when you were little or what, but you have a severe mental issue and should probably seek therapy.

    • Brian O’Gorman

      October 3, 2018 at 4:34 am

      The cost to the state of Florida could easily reach $500 million according to FGA reports!
      Vote no on Amendment 13!

    • Andy

      October 3, 2018 at 9:37 am

      More lies from the effeminate king of all liars, this was simply put out to deflect attention from their set up cocaine ‘ scandal ‘ being exposed along with the huge NRA endorsement. Lots of info available online detailing the fraud of these criminals, notice they never mention their partners HSUS fined 15 million for paying a witness to LIE

  • Marie Smith

    October 2, 2018 at 10:40 am

    Greyhound racing does contribute to the local & state economies along with making charitable contributions. There are secondary & tertiary businesses that also contribute to the economy by the sell / buying of their products.

    However the economy of your organization is based on the cruelty to dogs (990s alone prove this). And also on going against everything that might improve it. Hence why at an Animal Rights conference in 2016 Christine Dorchak said “We don’t think race tracks should be modernized”. This validates every time Grey2K USA paid politicians to vote against any safety act to improve industry standards in FL.

    Also what about your influence over DPMW to not correct it’s state drug testing program. Tony Glover, who served as the Division Director during court actions has turned into one of your lobbyists.

    And the inhumane & hypocritical Amendment 13 that you fine-tuned along w/ HSUS on the backs of the greyhounds who are despised by the casino owners wanting to expand their profits. You are exaggerating lies to entice FL voters to send more money for you campaign to buy tv ads that no one will watch bec/ of the other hundreds of ads on tv. Then you are leaving adoption groups who run off donation money to save the nearly 8,000 greyhounds that will be displaced if 13 passes. You are like a fat pimp whoring the circumstances of the racers and then throwing them wayside afterwards. It’ll be another notch in your belt while lovers of these racers clean up the mess your extremist organization created.

    Your campaign puts the lives of greyhounds in harm’s way without any care or concern. Thankfully most of the tracks along w/ the owners, trainers & greyhound adoption groups will be there for the racers. Our head & hearts are in the right place, not on our wallet and donation button.
    #NoOn13

  • Karen Greb

    October 2, 2018 at 10:48 am

    Fishkind confirms again what we already know. A study commissioned by the Florida Legislature concludes that the State is subsidizing this cruel industry between $1 million and $3.3 million per year. Let’s stop burdening the taxpayer in supporting this cruel endeavor. Vote YES on Amendment 13!

    • Steven M Grabarczyk

      October 2, 2018 at 11:01 am

      LOL the Spectrum report was a guess at best, but thats what you charlatans hang your hat on, guesses.

  • Steven M Grabarczyk

    October 2, 2018 at 10:59 am

    Good for you Carey, you have the $$$ to pay for someones “unbiased” opinion. The Spectrum report was a joke except that it did mention ADW. By the way, where is Mr. Fishkinds mention of ADW? The ADW numbers are REAL, but again left out of your “paid for analysis”. And the admission that the current gaming will expand at the tracks is priceless. Poker is declining too, it’s called the business cycle. So when races are gone and it makes no financial sense to expand the card rooms, then where does the revenue come from Carey? Why don’t you go ask Fishkind because he didn’t model that in his “report”. Answer the question Carey, when it makes no sense to double the size of the card rooms, where does the $$$ come from if they cant do slots? What does SOKC do without ANY gaming permit. Oh, Fishkind easily left that off his “report” LOL

    Maybe 10 years or so ago when the Greg Raymer phenomenon hit the poker world doubling the card rooms would work but even though there is minute growth on poker year/year it does not support the doubling of card rooms which is the ONLY thing the tracks can do outside of Miami/Broward where they have slots. Which brings up another poinr, you have repeatedly said this is not about gambling expansion, but thats EXACTLY what this “report” says will make up for the revenue and MORE. So which is it Carey???

  • Lil Stevie Grabmaczyk

    October 2, 2018 at 11:08 am

    DBPR publishes annual reports which show the industry’s decline.

    The tracks publish UAR reports which show them losing millions because of greyhound racing.

    The state of Florida hired consultants which estimated that the state spends more to regulate greyhound racing than it makes in tax revenue.

    And now this economist jumps in to reiterate what state reports already say.

    Why would the tracks continue to offer greyhound racing if it loses as much as all these sources say they do? BECAUSE THE RACES ARE MANDATED BY STATE LAW. You can’t have a card table without greyhound racing.

    I wish I could open up a crappy business and attach it to a gambling establishment in Florida. That’d be the life! I wouldn’t have to worry about losing money with the track covering all my bills.

    • Andy

      October 3, 2018 at 10:58 am

      They aren’t mandated by law to run at Sanford because they have no poker room, the track is fighting tooth and nail to save their product, so, ah why is that the case if they are loosing so much money? Once again the lies have been refuted.

  • Steven M Grabarczyk

    October 2, 2018 at 11:16 am

    And ANY economist that thinks a legal but maybe declining business should be eliminated by Constitutional Amendment, is an idiot and not well versed on how a free market system works. Maybe in a Socialist economy but not in the US SMDH

    • Don Goldstein

      October 2, 2018 at 12:05 pm

      Steve,
      You admit it is a “declining business” but then claim it is the “free market system.” Please tell me how the government mandating racing at a significant loss of revenue in order to make money on card rooms is the free market system? If it truly was a free market system, i.e. decoupled, how many tracks dog tracks would there be in Florida?

  • Dick Ciampa

    October 2, 2018 at 11:38 am

    Carey,

    It is amazing you managed to find someone that knows less about greyhound racing than you do.

    There was not an increase on 2.5% in the number of races run. The increase was only 0.44%. The 2.5% increase was in the number of performances or race cards the track ran. They ran more because they wanted to. Tracks aren’t forced to run more cards than they did the year before. they could run the same number as the year before, but probably because of the way the calendar dates fell they elected to run more days.

    Purses paid are based handle, live, simulcast and advanced deposit wagering. The percentage paid to the kennels is higher for live, less on simulcast and very little from ADW. However, in the 2012-2013 fiscal year with 20 permit holders and 13 tracks the total purses paid was $25,903,204

    In fiscal year 2016-2017 with 19 permit holders and 12 tracks the total purses paid was$25,923,233.

    You never want to admit all the money the ADW sites pour into greyhound racing. We know that in 2017 the total amount of money wagered on Florida tracks nationwide was over $525,000,000.

    If as G2K has said for 18 years the whole greyhound industry is cruel and inhumane just turn everyone in. You don’t have to make a living for doing the right thing if the whole industry is cruel and inhumane. Florida has laws against treating animals in this way and they will shut the industry down.

    the Florida Department of Pari-Mutuel Wagering says you are lying. they are the ones that inspect the greyhound kennels over 1,000 times a year and they don’t shut the industry down. If they see a violation that person is fined or suspended.

    The only reason G2k tries to legislate the greyhound industry out of Florida or this year put it on the ballot is because G2K knows they are lying and could never bring the industry to trial on their false charges.

    I see Marie Smith mentioned an animal rights conference that your wife Christine Dorchak was at. ALF,the Animal Liberation Front, started calling these ALF conferences Animal rights conferences a number of years ago to deflect what they really were. They are a meeting of the people that are members of the domestic terrorist group ALF. Carey has spoken at them, his wife Christine Dorchak speaks at them and dozens of HSUS people speak at them.

    Don’t be fooled by the Trojan Horse.

    Vote NO ON 13.

  • Steve

    October 2, 2018 at 11:55 am

    Grey2K rakes in millions in well meaning donations from animal lovers. When you look at their tax returns you will see that the bulk of monies go to lobbying (Carey Thiel is their main Lobbyist) and legal (Christine Dorchak is their lobbyist). They are also husband and wife if I’m not mistaken. They take slivers of informant out of context and focus your attention to those slivers while purposely deceiving the public as to ALL the facts. Similar to what magicians do. Grey2K knows about the millions in simulcast (off track wagers) but don’t ever cite those numbers. As an analogy it would be foolish to think that Internet shopping hasn’t decreased sales in stores, but sales combined in store and online may be up in stores like WALMART KOHLS etc.
    Grey2K why don’t you cite all the numbers. I’ll tell you why because wagering is UP and in the black. Hence the reason most tracks add performances and races and are promoting a VOTE NO ON 13.

    You’re tactics are being exposed. People are not stupid

  • Dick Ciampa

    October 2, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    Carey,

    If you would debate John Parker you could bring these “facts” up in the debate. You want to debate except when someone, John Parker, agrees.

    Maybe you can explain to everyone why you, or was it your loving wife Christine, deleted John’s post on your FB page. All he did was accept your challenge.

    • Andy

      October 3, 2018 at 10:34 am

      They will never accept because they are lying cowards and would be destroyed. Hopefully they get called out today in the kennel visit

  • steve grabarczyk

    October 4, 2018 at 11:20 pm

    For all you people slobbering over this paid shill report I give you from the 3/20/18 transcript of the CRC on if the state loses money regulating greyhound racing and ONCE AGAIN ANOTHER LIE

    CHAIRMAN BERUFF: A follow up question. I
    did call the Secretary of DPBR, something like
    that, that one, to ask the question of the
    financial impacts on the State because I was —
    I took, you know, I listened to the audience as
    they spoke and how it costs us more to regulate
    than what it generates and so forth.
    And I was — his answer was, we take in
    more revenue than it costs to regulate that
    industry. So it is a little bit different than
    the — what you have said. So I am — and I
    had this discussion, what is today, today is
    Tuesday, I must have had it Thursday of last
    week or Friday, so it is very fresh in my mind.
    So there is a disconnect between what you
    say and what I saw, so what how, what do you
    attribute that to?

    • Fred Barton

      October 5, 2018 at 7:36 am

      Come on Steve. A comprehensive study conducted by a trained economist is going to be a little bit more accurate than a phone call, don’t you think?

      • Steven M Grabarczyk

        October 5, 2018 at 8:59 am

        No Fred because I could pay a few people I know 5K today and get a completely opposite report. Here you are once again sticking your nose in something you do not understand. I’ll put my 30 years in the finance biz up against anyone and my contacts up against Fishkind any day. I I would tend to believe the PMW Secretary over a Spectrum report which admitted ALL the analysis we speak of here were estimated. Sorry pal, the days of you guys pulling the bullshit over the voters eyes are DONE.

        • Fred Barton

          October 5, 2018 at 10:29 am

          Baloney. I’m calling your bluff. If you can come up with a report by a reputable source that contradicts Dr. Fishkind then do it. Counter facts with facts for a change instead of bluster.

Comments are closed.


#FlaPol

Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Jason Delgado, Renzo Downey, Rick Flagg, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Jesse Scheckner, Scott Powers, Andrew Wilson, and Kelly Hayes.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704




Sign up for Sunburn


Categories