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Six Per Cent More For Racing?

Published: November 22, 2012 3:54 pm ET

Last Comment: November 23, 2012 9:31 am ET | 3 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Leading up to what track operators have alluded to as being the final evening of live harness racing at Sudbury Downs, local Councillor Claude Berthiaume has stepped up his call for some sanity in the provincial decision to cut the local and Ontario horse-racing industry down at the knees.

As an article by northernlife.ca explains, Berthiaume is speaking out as the city mulls a new revenue-sharing agreement for racetrack-housed slot machines during the upcoming post slots-at-racetracks agreement era (effective April 1, 2013).

Turning their collective backs on a loyal and economically-positive industry, multiple Ontario municipalities have opted to not play hardball with the Ontario Liberal Party in support of the historic provincial horse-racing sector. Instead of standing up in support of racing, multiple jurisdictions have simply told the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. that they will agree to rake in 5.25 per cent of revenues derived from OLG slot machines housed at the local raceway and not care if racing itself gets a piece at all.

Berthiaume is unwilling to accept the fact that the Ontario Liberal Party, the OLG, and the City of Greater Sudbury would willingly allow the move to be made, thus throwing the expansive industry into its darkest days.

As the report states, a City Council meeting on November 20 saw Berthiaume call for the city to demand 11.25 per cent of the slots revenue so it can, in turn, transfer six per cent of that revenue to the local horse-racing industry.

“I think we should renegotiate this. We should ask for the extra six per cent so we can continue to have horseracing in the Sudbury area,” Berthiaume was quoted as saying.

The city's chief administrative officer, Doug Nadorozny, rode to the defense of the OLG, stating that the move away from the slots-at-racetracks agreement was "a provincial policy decision that has been made and inflicted on OLG.” He was also quoted as saying that the OLG “don’t want to hear” any discussion relating to the local horse-racing industry.

“I can’t understand why they want to kill the horse-racing industry,” Berthiaume said. “But we should be asking for more than 5.25 per cent. We should ask for at least 10 per cent.”

In late September, after alluding to live racing ceasing after November, Sudbury Downs announced that it was terminating the employment of 38 of its staff members over the high level of uncertainty surrounding the Ontario horse-racing industry. It also explained that that more job terminations could be occurring at the track on December 31 of this year and March 31 of 2013.

First-race post time for Sudbury's Saturday program, the final card slated for 2012 and possibly the final card ever at the track, is 7:15 p.m.

To view the harness racing entries for Saturday at Sudbury, click the following link: Saturday Entries - Sudbury Downs.

(With files from northernlife.ca)

November 23, 2012 - 9:31 amYes, they have been bombarded

Yes, they have been bombarded with e-mails, etc. These are the people who are supposed to watch our backs against any action not on the up and up and the actions of the Liberals was certainly not on the up and up. Track owners have always been more interested in having the slots and not wanting racing. We now see the true colours of those owners. Guess we will have to barricade the doors to the tracks if they are allowed slots and no racing.

November 23, 2012 - 8:23 amSmart move Mr.Berthiaume! Why

Smart move Mr.Berthiaume! Why shouldn't the track owners share some of the slots revenue with the Horse Industry. It would be in the best interest for all. Yes, it's not the 10% but 6% is better than none. Time for the Liberals to rein in Paul Godfrey /OLG.

November 22, 2012 - 6:50 pmIts about time someone on the

Randy Young SAID...

Its about time someone on the Sudbury Council stood up for Sudbury Downs. Its truly shameful that some cities are allowing themselves to be bullied by the OLG and Liberals. Do they really expect the Race Tracks to provide facilities for the OLG slots and parking etc ... and get nothing in return.
As many have said, the slots at all race tracks should be shut down immediately .. and stay that way until the OLG & Liberals are ready for a meaningful discussion. It will be years before they can get their private Casinos up and running - if ever.

And where is Ontario's Auditor General and Ombudsman ?
I'm sure they've been bombarded with emails etc.... and a motion was passed back in August to request an immediate investigation by the Auditor General ... but we get nothing but silence.


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