Transition Panel Member: Downsizing Horse Racing Is Inevitable
Published: June 12, 2012 8:34 am ET
Last Comment: June 16, 2012 1:39 am ET | 17 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments
Comments from one of the three members named to help transition horse racing away from its revenue sharing agreement with the Ontario government indicate a clear movement to downsize the industry that employs close to 60,000 full and part-time workers and churns billions in economic impact to the province.
“It’s going to be in a reduced form. We’re not kidding ourselves about that,” Elmer Buchanan told The Belleville Intelligencer Sunday. Buchanan, a former agriculture minister during the NDP government's time in power in the early 1990s, is currently the vice-chairman of the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission.
“We certainly believe there will be fewer people involved in the racing industry. Our job will be to look at what can be done to develop a downsized horse racing industry that is sustainable.”
Buchanan urged industry participants to work with the panel before the August deadline.
“If people don’t come forward with ideas than our panel will not have much of a report.”
Buchanan's comments came to light just prior to a report submitted to the Standing Committee of Finance and Economic Affairs by OHRIA .That report indicates that the slots-at-racetracks program was the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation's top product line over the past decade, far exceeding resort casinos, charity casinos and lottery & bingo.