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Ajax Downs Slots Deal Announced

Published: October 9, 2018 12:44 pm ET

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It was announced this morning (Tuesday, Oct. 9) that a deal has been struck which will allow slot machine gaming to continue at Ajax Downs until at least 2026.

Speaking during a trackside press conference at the Durham Region Quarter Horse racing facility, Ajax MPP Rod Phillips stated that, “Our council, led by Mayor Parish, was loud and clear that Ajax Downs is a vital part of our community and needed to be saved… and I’m pleased to tell them that their message was heard.”

The future of Ajax Downs and its accompanying Casino Ajax had been in question since the approval of Durham Live, the casino planned for the neighbouring Pickering, had been announced. Now, with the proposed deal, the future of live racing at Ajax Downs appears to be on steady footing for at least the next eight years and potentially the next two decades.

“The agreement ensures a sustainable, two-facility solution with no less than 500 slots here at Ajax Downs until 2026 and then two extensions for (a total of) an additional 12 years,” Phillips explained.

Phillips also went on to explain that Ajax Downs currently houses 800 slots, a number which will be reduced to no less than 500 once Durham Live is up and running.

“Premier Doug Ford was committed to finding a solution that worked for both Pickering and Ajax, and he further committed to returning the Slots at Racetracks Program,” Phillips said. “So today I am very pleased to announce that we have an agreement, in principle, that will keep the slots here at Ajax Downs.”

(L to R) The Picov Family’s Justin Picov, Ajax MPP Rod Phillips, Ajax Mayor Steve Parish, and QHROO President Bob Broadstock pictured at Ajax Downs on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018 (Image courtesy Ron Pietroniro / Metroland)

Phillips explained that the Quarter Horse racing industry is responsible for just under 2,000 jobs in Durham Region, and that Ajax Downs is a vital part of the region and a critical part of the community.

“This is great news, as we will continue to get essential revenue for our town. It is great news because that means that the future of Quarter Horse racing is secure here in Durham and Ontario, and it also great news because the facility that you can see beside me is an important centre for our community.”

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