OLG Rebranding Not In The Cards

Published: June 12, 2015 03:53 pm EDT

Spokesman Tony Bitonti has said that the Ontario Lottery and Gaming is collaborating with the provincial horse racing industry in an effort to come up with branding options in conjunction with racing’s integration into the OLG’s gaming modernization process.

Bitonti’s comment have come via an article on the matter by the Toronto Star.

“OLG is working with the horse racing industry to explore branding options for horse racing,” Bitonti was quoted as saying. “This is all part of our commitment to the integration of horse racing into the provincial gaming strategy.”

The Toronto Star report centres on a claim that there had been some consideration for the OLG’s corporate name to be adjusted to reflect the inclusion of horse racing.

The article quoted Bitonti as saying that “OLG is not rebranding or changing its name.”

Instead, Bitonti said that the OLG “will use its marketing expertise to explore an effective consumer-facing brand to support a sustainable horse racing industry in Ontario.”

(With files from the Toronto Star)



Mr. Carter is spot on in my view. With the lower handle (less revenue to the government), and the high maintenance problems associated with racing, combined with the higher ROI from other gambling venues (slots) and the upcoming move into single bet sports wagering... of course if harness racing were to shoot itself in the foot that would suit them perfectly!

In reply to by John Carter

Mr Carter, any job action would bring the newspapers out. That would inform LOTS of the public and you will better see where you stand. Currently, there are 4 types of people. Those that support you, those that disagree with you, those that do not know and do not care about you and likely would not support you, and those that do not know, but might be inclined to go to the track, or learn about your cause and support you. Take a look at how many things have been changed in our past by work stoppages. Most do not know the ins and outs of the public service sector that is on strike in London, or the OPSEU people that went on strike just a few years ago. Sure, we all knew they were there, but how many people really knew the details of the union's members? The media filled us all in, and we took sides. Either way.... the government listened.

Again Mr Carter, my suggestion, will bring more attention to the situation, than you sitting here and complaining on a website. Again Mr Carter, I have nothing to gain or lose here, the horseman do. If I was a driver, you can be sure I would be heard all the time.

Then again, I would be all over the media trying to get my face airtime and bring attention to my sport

Mr.Yamakva, are you comparing a work stoppage by horseman as having the same effect that a work stoppage by teachers would have, seriously LOL. A work stoppage by teachers gets the attention of governments immediately. A work stoppage by horseman maybe playing right into governments hand. The public cares about a work stoppage by teachers, the overwhelming majority of the public couldn't care less about a work stoppage by the horse industry. Sorry like it or not, that's the facts.

Mr. Adler often ruffled the feathers of the judges and harness racing administration. That said I know from personal experience he had the respect of owners, trainers, and drivers. I suspect his brutally truthful comment here may be ruffling a few more feathers now!!

Last week on Jeopardy, the category was 'The Horse'. Alex gave the answer as "...this sport uses a sulky". The 3 trivia experts looked at each other dumbfounded, and no one was able to come up with "what is harness racing?" Does that not say it all?

In reply to by chris bush

You don't think that if all the top drivers took a friday night off WEG to race ANYWHERE but Mohawk, that ..
1) the track could do or say anything about it? No.
2) That the commission could say anything about it? No.
3) That WEG itself would not speak up and have to make a real move and initiate talks or do something? They cant afford to lose a card of racing. They are one of only 5 tracks that has not had a night where they have given away more in purses than they have taken in bets.
4) other drivers from other tracks would reject the invitation to drive for the big money because they know what is at stake here on behalf of the game? Of course. We would understand if a half dozen or so did agree to drive because they are broke, but so be it, as the message would be sent.
5) this would make front page news of sports pages across the province, if not the front pages of newspapers? Drivers walking, makes people pay attention.

Again, I have NOTHING to gain by suggesting anything....... but hey, lets all complain we are not getting money from the government.

I as a bettor, have not got a cent from slots.

In reply to by jkchill

Again Mr Hill, sadly, YOU just don't get it. Other citizens of Ontario ARE standing up. They ARE making their voice heard.

Rallies, are not enough. And stop it with the "OHRIA" is this or that. A real group of important DRIVERS, the people that make the sport happen in the public's eye, are what are needed to be a group with a voice. A work stoppage at Woodbine would get people's attention. It seems to be working for teachers, and the many public service workers.

I am not suggesting a strike or a day of protest be a first resort, but the mere mention of it would get the right people talking.

If you feel you should just sit back and complain, do so, but those of us that have the health of the sport in mind, are going to toss out ideas.

This will be my last post to you Mr Hill. Remember this one thing, I am a gambler. You need people like me. I have NOTHING to gain by encouraging change. I do not need you or any harness racing horseman. Neither does the Ontario public despite what you might think (I am not going to explain the economics of that statement). I am also a taxpayer of the province, and like many of them that comment on these articles in the newspaper, we MUCH rather see you survive on your own, than use any tax dollars. (Slots is a voluntary tax like lotto or scratch tickets).

Did anyone really expect anything else from this government and the OLG. Lots of promises made and most of them broken since their election. I agree with Will that we have sat and listened and waited for what??? For the OLG to use their so-called expertise to just now "explore" a branding strategy for horse racing?? If this is as far as they have gotten, that "expertise" is sadly lacking and working at a snail's pace. Speaking of OHRIA---what is their response to this disappointing announcement? Haven't heard much from "our voice" at all.

Raise your hand if you believe that the OLG (a gambling monopoly) has demonstrated any real "expertise" to support a sustainable horse racing industry. Two years hence and all they've produced is more of the same vague/empty rhetoric we're accustomed to.

In reply to by Will Yamakva

Mr Yakavma, you just don't get it. The government could not care less what the horsemen have to say,elite or not. We have had rallies at queens park with a couple of thousand horsemen and numerous politicians from both the the PC and NDP speaking in support of SARP only to fall upon the deaf ears of the liberals and Jody as well has spoke at these rallies. OHRIA has been appointed by the liberals to represent the horsemen and WILL NOT listen to anyone else. Don't you think if all it would take to change their minds is the opinion of the top ten drivers and trainers it would have been done by now ? The liberals are doing what's best for the liberals,citizens of Ontario be damned!

In reply to by Jody Jamieson

Jody... as one of the most recognizable faces, and one of the best speaking athletes I have heard, why don't you lead a group of other "important" faces and form a real group, and have a real voice? Take a stand. So far, your group has stood back and waited for others to do things. The teachers are on strike and working to rule. About 5 public service groups are doing the same thing.

I wish my industry could look to the government for help. Difference with us, is we make or break ourselves by having unified voices. Our voices are ALWAYS heard.

Be the leader that I know you can be. Be the Ted Lindsay of Ontario Harness drivers. No more of this, "But the OHRIA" speaks for us. LEAD THE PEOPLE, JODY!!!

My God, Is this all the progress we have made in a year or more ?? OLG is going to EXPLORE a branding strategy for horse racing? All this time and they have got to to the point of exploring ?? Horse racing is on life support and needs to get something done now. Mr Bitonti, there is an urgency in horse racing to get this done. Please put this into high gear.

I foresee anything that the OLG does that mentions harness racing will be like reading the disclaimer at the bottom of a commercial.

Instead, Bitonti said that the OLG “will use its marketing expertise to explore an effective consumer-facing brand to support a sustainable horse racing industry in Ontario.” Attention Premier Wynne!!!! This isn't integration!!! Please help!!!!!
If it's 'significantly' more costly to rebrand w/horse racing, let's use 'OUR' money ($500 million) to help pay for it!!! I know I know, we've already helped the OLG's bottom line these past couple of years, but how great would it be for OUR industry to be mentioned in every comment, article, commercial with the OLG!!!!!!!!! That's the kind of exposure this industry needs to help make it relative again!!!! Come on people!!!!!