The Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association is congratulating Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party on their commitment to developing an integrated strategy for gaming in Ontario that involves a strong horse racing and breeding sector.
The Ontario PCs have recently announced their plans to lead consultations on the future of Ontario’s gaming industry and their intention to include Horse Racing as an integral part of the discussion.
The horse racing and breeding industry is in crisis and has suffered repeated blows at the hands of the current government as they push forward their plan to end the slots-at-racetracks program by March of 2013.
Ontario’s cancellation of the Slots at Racetracks Program has been devastating to the industry, heavily rooted in the rural economy. With 55,000 jobs at risk, the government needs to take serious measures to develop a plan that is economically and socially viable.
“It is encouraging to see the PCs taking positive steps toward creating an inclusive and integrated gaming industry in Ontario, one that includes Racing. The horse racing and breeding industry is part of the very fabric of gaming in this Province, and the government needs to understand its economic and cultural value,” said Sue Leslie, president of OHRIA.
The Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association is calling on the provincial government to follow through on their commitment to help develop a sustainable horse racing and breeding industry in Ontario.
OHRIA is asking the provincial government to defer the OLG’s current modernization strategy until consultations that involve all sectors of Ontario’s gaming industry, including horse racing, can be integrated into OLG’s modernization plans and extend the Slots at Racetracks Program from March 31, 2013 to allow the 2013 racing season to get underway, while negotiations occur.
“There is no doubt horse racing and breeding provide a significant economic impact to Ontario’s economy, rural employment base and more than one billion dollars a year in gaming revenue for the provincial treasury. We want to continue to be a partner with the government, but need to be given the opportunity to compete fairly with other gaming strategies,” added Leslie.