Racing and Gaming to conduct study on horse racing in Iowa

DES MOINES — The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission is planning a study of the state’s horse racing industry.

Racing and Gaming Administrator Brian Ohorilko says the idea came after the Commission had discussions with administrators in the thoroughbred industry, quarter horse industry, and Prairie Meadows Racetrack.

“During those discussions, there were varying opinions as to how the horse industry is performing, what would improve the industry, and who should be responsible for making those improvements,” Ohorilko says. Ohorilko says the Commission members felt it was best to get some help in dealing with some of those differences of opinion.

“With all of those suggestions, it became evident that it might be good to have somebody help assist in answer some of those questions, not only for the commission, but for the various stakeholders,” he says. Ohorilko says the long-term goal is to consider what is needed to promote the long-term viability of the industry.

The next step is to work with the Administrative Services Agency to get someone to do the study. “So we’ll be working with that agency to get an RFP out there and see who may have an interest in helping answer some of these questions,” he says. Ohorilko says it will take some time to get the study completed.

“It still may be nine to 12 months before we get some answers — but it is something that is important to the commission,” Ohorilko says. The Racing and Gaming Commission approved the plan to do the study at its recent meeting.