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Report: OLG Payments To Tracks

Published: June 3, 2013 10:51 am ET

Last Comment: June 4, 2013 7:51 pm ET | 4 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

A report by The Globe and Mail has stated some details regarding payments from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. to Ontario racetracks.

It has been reported that the OLG will be sending a total of $80.6 million to Ontario raceways. The article states that the payments are going to tracks that spent money on expansion to accommodate more slot machines before the government decided to cancel the slots-at-racetracks program.

The report by The Globe and Mail explains that $31.5-million will be going to the Great Canadian Gaming Corp. (owners of Flamboro Downs and Georgian Downs) and more than $26-million will be going to the Woodbine Entertainment Group (Mohawk Racetrack, Woodbine Racetrack).

The report also states that roughly $23 million will be dispersed to other provincial racetracks, which are not identified. According to the article, the deals had been kept under wraps until Great Canadian recently released its quarterly financial update.

The Globe and Mail has quoted GCGC CEO Rod Baker as saying, “We are pleased with the settlement.” Baker's comments came during a recent conference call regarding Great Canadian’s first-quarter financial results.

Jane Holmes, WEG's vice president of Corporate Affairs, provided a brief quote in the article, simply saying that WEG "signed a term sheet that indicated we wouldn’t talk about it (the deal).”

The report states that further details on the $80.6-million compensation package are expected when the OLG releases its 2012-13 audited financial statements.

The article also contains quotes from Ontario horse racing transition panel member John Snobelen, who reitterated that “the industry [needs] to be more focused on its fans and on horse players. That’s got to be part of the gaming strategy.”

A report by 610 CKTB News has cited Fort Erie Live Racing Consortium CEO Jim Thibert as saying that the Fort Erie Race Track will not be benefit from the deal. Thibert was also cited as saying that the deal is separate from the transitional funding agreements announced by the province earlier this year.

(With files from The Globe and Mail)

June 4, 2013 - 7:51 pmIt seems as if the plan is

Greg Perry SAID...

It seems as if the plan is nearly complete. Cancel the slots at racetrack program, then allow the tracks to keep the slots at a discounted price, and tell the horse people they have to cultivate their customers and increase handle if they are to survive. Again ,there is no way for us to increase our handle if our main competitor is running the show at the tracks. Mr. Snobelen is in a dream world if he thinks this is possible. Unless a new Slots at Racetrack Program is started with real revenue sharing by the government we are doomed to be totally subsidized until they decide not to do that anymore. I can hardly wait to see the master plan, it seems the Powers to Be think that if a racetrack stays open that is good for the racing industry. Unfortunately the Horse People know that tracks racing for a fraction of what they used to will only be hobby tracks and the business part will vanish. I wonder if OLG or the Government could survive if somebody snapped their fingers and half their revenues were gone.

June 4, 2013 - 1:58 pm" It has been reported that

Norm Brunet SAID...

" It has been reported that the OLG will be sending a total of $80.6 million to Ontario raceways. The article states that the payments are going to tracks that spent money on expansion to accommodate more slot machines before the government decided to cancel the slots-at-racetracks program."

Paul is right. Should the Government not compensate breeders owners....whom had invested in the industry and are and have taken serious losses when the contract due in 2015 was terminated in 2013 ? We do have serious grounds to start a lawsuit.
Lets not forget that Quebec breeders were compensated by their government.

June 4, 2013 - 6:55 amI have heard the comments as

Georg Leber SAID...

I have heard the comments as well. People are saying, Hey looks like you guys got lots of our tax money. This is typical government spin and if it isnt explained then people don't get it. Even if it is explained most are now tainted with the knowledge that horse racing got some of the money ear marked for education and health care.

Just wait until they get the bill for unemployment, retraining and bankruptcies.

Horse Racing may not recover from this ever. If SARP or some form of it is not introduced the industry will suffer what happenned to Quebec but this time it will be worse because there was more money invested and more people affected.

Georg Leber-ICR Racing

June 3, 2013 - 7:52 pmI think it be very important

I think it be very important that someone whether it be the transition panel or OHRIA make a comment regarding these payments. I have already heard from three or four people today who believe these funds have gone to the horse racing industry. This could not be farther from the truth. This does absolutely nothing to stabilize the industry. This is simply a case of the OLG securing space for their slots while the modernization continues. What about the thousands of people who have invested in their operations. Where is the payments for them?


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