FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 25, 2018
Contact: Marcos Miralles,
Chairman, Libertarian Party of Florida
chair@lpf.org

The last Amendment on the ballot seeks to end all wagering on dog racing in Florida once and for all.

The Ban on Wagering on Dog Races Amendment (Proposal 67) – Phases out commercial dog racing in connection with wagering by 2020. Other gaming activities are not affected.

LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF FLORIDA PLATFORM

PREAMBLE

Libertarians seek a society based on personal liberty and responsibility—a society in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives. This most desirable method of organizing society is the natural order that arises when the unalienable rights of individuals to life, liberty and property ownership are respected and protected.
People have the right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and pursue happiness in whatever manner they choose so long as they do not forcibly or fraudulently interfere with the equal rights of others. Libertarians welcome the peace, prosperity, and diversity that freedom brings.

V. VICE LAWS

1. Government should confine itself to protecting individuals from aggression, coercion and deceit. We oppose all laws and regulations that attempt to protect individuals from the consequences of their own behavior. While not necessarily condoning such activities, we advocate the repeal of all laws criminalizing gambling, possession and sale of drugs, and sexual relations between consenting adults. All those presently incarcerated or ever convicted solely for the commission of these victimless crimes should be pardoned and their records expunged.

DISCUSSION

If approved, Amendment 13 would end wagering on greyhound (or other breeds) at the state’s 11 pari-mutuel greyhound racing parks by 2020. It’s important to note this Amendment wouldn’t actually stop dog racing, just the ability to lawfully gamble on the outcome of dog races.

Florida remains one of six states which has operating pari-mutuel dog racing tracks. It has about half of those tracks. According to a racing industry trade association, Grey2K USA Worldwide, paid attendance declined by 85 percent from 2007 to 2016. Wagering was down by 50 percent. So clearly, this choice is being decided by the market. As it should.

There are many examples of horrifying treatment of greyhounds involved with the racing industry. Injuries occurred during training and races. Outright mistreatment by breeders, owners and trainers are cited. In reaction, the public demands more local and state laws and regulation. Dogs are often tested for cocaine and other performance-enhancing drugs.

We abhor mistreatment of any animal for any reason. We join the public cry to expose offenses and make those responsible, answerable for those offenses. Yet mistreatment of animals is done by individual people, not by the industry itself, not by gamblers and not the spectators. Responsible individuals should be held accountable for their behaviour. Responsible business-people and the public should not be punished for the misdeeds of the few.

We also abhor state laws that prevent responsible adults from making choices on how to conduct business or spend their money – be it gambling or be it gardening. Such choices remain the choice of the individual and not the state. We recommend NO on Amendment 13.

— By J. Mark Barfield, Staff Writer

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