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WFD To Announce Gaming Partner?

Published: February 25, 2013 9:10 am ET

Last Comment: February 25, 2013 3:20 pm ET | 3 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

"We are very close to one. Not one that we can publicize yet, there's still some work to be done, but we're very close."

In an interview with the London Free Press, Western Fair District's CEO Hugh Mitchell alluded to the potential for an announcement to be made "by the end of February" that would shed light on the gaming landscape for Southwestern Ontario.

Mitchell told the Free Press that the gaming operator that makes a pitch for London also has to include plans for a bundle of gaming zones as outlined by the OLG.

"We're in the Southwestern Ontario bundle, which includes six zones, Hanover, Clinton, Sarnia, Woodstock, Dresden and London," Mitchell told the Free Press. "Our site is one of the six, but we can't bid on just one site, we have to bid on them all."

When asked about the future of harness racing at Western Fair would be impacted , Mitchell noted that more clarity should be shed on that this week as well,

"That's a big part of our existence. As you look at the footprint of our site it not only is a big part of our business, but it's a big part of our footprint in terms of land and buildings devoted towards racing, so it's a pretty critical piece. As an agricultural society we obviously see some true benefit to agriculture by supporting racing at this site."

February 25, 2013 - 3:20 pmMore of the same when it

Norm Walker SAID...

More of the same when it comes to the games the OLG plays, New Rule if you want a big centre like London then you MUST take Dresden, Clinton, Sarnia. Woodstock, Hanover as well. This gets smaller centres out of the concerns of the OLG and forces a true investor to really research the deal and maybe even ask for an exit stratagy should the rural operations not be profitable. In this way the OLG plays the good guy not the villan but unloads the rural track locations and in the case of Sarnia I do not have all the facts is this the Point Edward Casino because selling the closed facility won't be much of an insentive. This is just more unanswered questions for the guessing game. Where is Wynne and her promises.

February 25, 2013 - 1:26 pmHurry up and wait... The

Georg Leber SAID...

Hurry up and wait...
The comments made by Lynne Magee are right on the money. For me the breeding aspect hits home. We did breed last year and we will welcome 12 new foals to our team this spring. I promise we won't euthanize.

March thru May are the most crucial months for breeders. The fact that everything is going down to the wire is ridiculous. These Liberals are clearly not interested in anything except saving their own jobs.

I would reiterate that many have been stressed needlessly. If the future is to be taken away, it should be announced immediately, not stretched out causing more expense. Every MPP that I have written to is oblivious and gives lip service. Our message is not getting through. Our new Agricultural Minister is the new ring leader of the enemy. She has no idea what is going on in our world nor does she care.

I still support law suits. We may not win but it will sure get public attention.

Georg Leber-ICR Racing

February 25, 2013 - 11:44 amThe sooner we get some

Lynne Magee SAID...

The sooner we get some clarification on what we are going to be looking at for the racing future, the better. This has dragged on far too long and the horsepeople of Ontario have been far too patient (or complacent:-() with the whole thing. Horses have been euthanized, sold for peanuts, given away and sent to slaughter by desperate horsepeople who have been terrorized for the last year. The pain and suffering that the Liberals and the OLG have inflicted on the horse world of Ontario and associated business owners has been not only completely unneccessary but extremely stressful and frightening. Mr. Mitchell notes that "clarity should be shed" this week. It's about bloody time. Let us know, one way or the other, what we are up against and we can get on with our lives. OSS payments and other stakes payments are due and, of course, there is no reduction or delay of due dates (even though the OSS program is going to be negatively adjusted) despite the unknown decisions and announcements that our devastated community waits for each day. We haven't bred a mare since 2010 that's the way it will remain until there is some stability and a future past two years ahead.

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