Florida's regulation of dog racing is so lax that a Sarasota greyhound track was allowed to start its racing season last week in defiance of a state rule that bans the use of unsanitary and dangerous wooden crates.
The fact that the Florida Division of Parimutuel Wagering spent two years adopting a rule that banned the crates, and then allowed the track to get away with thumbing its nose at the ban, is just one of several examples of the state’s weak regulatory structure, said Michael Diamond of Spectrum Gaming, a consulting company hired by Florida lawmakers to complete a report on gambling in Florida.
"In all our years of covering regulatory agencies, I can’t quite fathom a regulatory agency allowing this to occur,'' he told the House Select Committee on Gaming Wednesday.
The report by the New Jersey-based gaming company was commissioned by the legislature at a cost of $400,000 as a precursor to a debate next session on whether to strengthen the state’s regulatory structure and gambling in Florida.
The Division of Parimutuel Wagering said it is in the midst of an investigation into the Sarasota Kennel Club and could not comment. Diamond said it is only one in a string of recent examples in which the governor’s agency has ignored rules, failed to regulate, or allow the industry to change the rules without following the proper procedures.
According to the Spectrum report: