Potential Fort Erie Track Slots Discussed

Six years after the Slots At Racetracks Program was discontinued, the possibility of alternative gaming returning to an Ontario border track may make its sale more lucrative for buyer and seller alike.

According to Buffalo, N.Y.-based National Public Radio affiliate WBFO 88.7, slot machines could potentially return to Fort Erie Race Track — which at its peak contributed $5 million annually to municipal coffers, which in turn were directed to infrastructural improvements and other city projects.

With new Ontario Premier Doug Ford having indicated a potential return of slots, which were also pulled from Windsor Raceway and Hiawatha Horse Park on the Ontario-Michigan border, to the Thoroughbred racecourse, the implications for revitalisation — and the viability for the city to buy the racetrack — are amplified.

"There's this great discussion going on as to whether the Town of Fort Erie is going to go off and sell bonds in order to allow FELRC – which is called the Fort Erie Live Racing Consortium – to allow FELRC to own the track property and deal with the idea of updates," Carl Paladino, managing partner for current Fort Erie owners CMP, told WBFO.

The property is currently under lease to FELRC to operate racing through 2022.

(With files from WBFO 88.7)