Report: Panel To Take Lead In Integrating Racing Into OLG Modernization Plan
It has been reported that the government of Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is compiling a shortlist of individuals to replace Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. Chair Paul Godfrey. It has also been reported that an update regarding the Ontario horse-racing industry's integration into the OLG's gaming modernization plan is to be announced this week.
The news regarding Godfrey and the modernization plan comes courtesy of an article by The Globe and Mail.
According to the report, Wynne will announce this week that the province's horse-racing transitional panel --- which helped transition the Ontario horse-racing industry from the slots-at-racetracks program --- will 'take the lead' on developing a blueprint to integrate the Ontario horse-racing industry into the modernization plan 'in time for the 2014 race season.'
The panel consists of three former cabinet ministers, New Democrat Elmer Buchanan, Conservative John Snobelen and Liberal John Wilkinson.
The Globe and Mail article has stated that Godfrey was not available for comment on the issues.
A report by the Ottawa Citizen has quoted Wynne as saying that she is keen on getting the Ontario horse-racing industry integrated into the OLG modernization plan, but that it has not been an easy process.
The Ottawa Citizen report has quoted Wynne as saying, “I’m very keen on the horse racing component being integrated into the overall gaming strategy, and that’s been a struggle.”
Late last week, 570 News reported that the OLG would be reviewing its rules from determining casino locations where two-tiered government exists. Such is the case in Waterloo region, part of the OLG's SW1 Zone. Earlier this year, Woolwich Township voted in favour of opening discussion with the province's gaming operator but Regional Council voted against it.
“I think the current system was not a good system. It allowed to set communities against one another in the market areas," Waterloo Region's Chair Ken Seiling told 570 News. "And really they’re targeting markets not single municipalities. So when the impact is felt across the broader community, they have a responsibility, I think to get the opinions of that broader community.
Seiling went on to say that he didn't think the OLG should "come into a community and cherry-pick one community out of that larger community and make a decision based on that.”
Trot Insider will update this story when more information becomes available.
(With files from The Globe and Mail)