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HRNB Comments On NB Racino Situation

Published: December 12, 2013 12:13 pm ET

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A recent report from Atlantic Lottery Corporation in New Brunswick indicating that a racino project in Saint John, NB isn’t viable isn’t accurate, according to Horse Racing New Brunswick Chair Dr. Mitchell Downey.

"To simply say that the model isn't viable when it has worked in every other jurisdiction in North America isn't accurate. The racino project as presented couldn't be recommended based on the restrictions government put on ALC," Dr. Downey said.

The two biggest restrictions were the impact moving VLTs around the Saint John Market would have on the current siteholders and that no provincial government or ALC revenue could be used to build the project.

"As far as the lack of government funding, HRNB fully understands the economic situation New Brunswick is currently in,” Dr. Downey said. “We have illustrated time and time again to this government that we did not require their funding as we have private funding lined up. As to the impact moving VLTs around in the Saint John Market, if it isn't feasible to consolidate them at Exhibition Park Raceway in a state of the art entertainment facility, why is it ok for the government to allocate 10 additional machines to a bar across the street from the track?"

Dr. Downey says the situation has been very frustrating.

"The board of HRNB has been working very hard to educate this government on the merits and value of the horse racing and raising industry,” Dr. Downey said. “In doing our due diligence, we have also been educating the opposition. Its important for all parties to understand this industry affects real people."

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