On Thursday, Ontario’s Finance Minister Charles Souza released the 2015 Budget. While the province’s horse racing industry wasn’t referenced in terms of an increase or decrease to funding, the Budget did hint to other proposed changes.
In the section titled “Creating a Supportive Business Environment“, the Province noted changes will be proposed on a number of provincial statutes. If these statutes are passed, “these changes would integrate support for provincial horse racing within OLG’s mandate and transfer the Province’s regulatory responsibilities for horse racing to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.”
This proposal could involve the development of a new statute and potential changes to a number of other statutes, including the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation Act, the Alcohol and Gaming Regulation and Public Protection Act, the Licence Appeal Tribunal Act, 1999, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Act and the Racing Commission Act.
The Budget further goes on to state that “the government will also be looking to the industry for leadership and continued collaboration. The industry may, in future, manage industry programs while championing the interests of all its members and customers, and providing non-binding advice to the Province and its agencies.”
These changes are being worked on “aggressively” by government, according to the document.
The long-awaited reintegration with the province’s gaming strategy was mentioned, with the Budget noting that the horse racing industry “has much to contribute to the Province’s gaming strategy” but gave no details as to specifics or future projects.