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WEG Comments On OMAFRA Report

Published: October 31, 2012 1:18 pm ET

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The Woodbine Entertainment Group was the second racing operator to respond to the OMAFRA Panel's transition report for the Ontario horse-racing industry on Wednesday, stating that WEG is "pleased that the Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel has reaffirmed that a vibrant, world-class horse-racing industry requires a strong partnership between the industry and Government."

Earlier in the day, the operators of Hanover Raceway had also responded to the report, stating that they "were not consulted during Phase 2 of the panel’s work," which ultimately resulted in the final report. To view Hanover's open letter, click here.

In part, the WEG statement conveys that the organization "anticipates that the proposed model will evolve through further discussion and negotiation in order to ensure the desired outcome --- a successful and sustainable horse racing industry in Ontario."

To view the Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association's response to the report, click here. To read the Western Fair District's response to the OMAFRA report, click here.

To view the OMAFRA Panel's report, click here.

The contents of WEG's statement on the report appear below.


Woodbine Entertainment Group statement

James J. Lawson, Chairman of Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) released the following statement upon WEG reviewing the Horse Racing Industry Transition Report and discussing it at its Board of Directors meeting today.

"Woodbine Entertainment Group is pleased that the Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel has reaffirmed that a vibrant, world-class horse-racing industry requires a strong partnership between the industry and Government. This includes the industry becoming a vital component of Ontario's provincial gaming strategy.

The report itself contains a number of concepts and details which require a better understanding in order for WEG to comment more fully. WEG will work with its industry partners in order to ensure that race dates at its tracks are optimized based on available purse money, horse supply, customer demand and Woodbine's financial resources to conduct live race dates.

WEG anticipates that the proposed model will evolve through further discussion and negotiation in order to ensure the desired outcome --- a successful and sustainable horse racing industry in Ontario.

WEG appreciates that Minister McMeekin has announced that negotiations will begin immediately in order to secure the 2013 racing season and set the foundation for continued success. WEG remains committed to delivering world-class racing and ensuring a sustainable future for WEG, its horsepeople and the thousands of industry participants in Ontario whose livelihoods depend on it."



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