12/11/2012 4:26PM

Fick hired to lead Texas group lobbying for slot machines at tracks

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Dan Fick, former executive director of the Jockey Club, has been hired to head a Texas organization that is lobbying for slot machines at state racetracks, according to the organization.

Fick, a Texas native who was most recently the director of racing at Remington Park in Oklahoma City, will take his place at the organization on Jan. 1, according to a release. Fick also was the director of racing for the American Quarter Horse Association, headquartered in Amarillo, for nearly 20 years.

The organization, which is called Texas Horse Organizations for Racing, Showing, and Eventing, was formed in order to lobby for the legalization of slot machines at Texas racetracks and at Native American reservations in the state. The founding members of the organization include representatives of numerous horse breeds, including Thoroughbreds, and supporters include the chambers of commerce in many cities in which slot machines would be located.

Efforts to legalize expanded gambling in Texas have been unsuccessful in the past. Although surrounded by states that have legal casinos, Texas has resisted calls to expand gambling, including efforts to authorize new offtrack betting parlors or to sanction account wagering.