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OLG Clarifies Some Belleville Issues


Published: February 27, 2009 10:00 am ET

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Kelly McDougald, chief executive officer of Ontario Lottery and Gaming, has sent a letter to The Belleville Intelligencer looking to clarify issues that have arisen in regard to the stalled erection of the New Quinte Exhibition and Raceway.

The letter appears below in its entirety.

There has been considerable coverage about the development of a racetrack in Belleville. I'd like to take this opportunity to explain the facts.

There is no such thing as a slot licence. The Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) grants a licence to racetracks for live horse racing.

Under the provincial Slots at Racetrack program implemented in 1998, OLG is responsible for adding a slot facility to the 18 racetracks designated at the time, including Quinte.

OLG remains committed to locating a slot facility at the new racetrack in Belleville.

As an historical note, it was the Belleville Agricultural Society (BAS) which chose Baymount as its partner to build the racetrack. Any proposed changes to the racing licence must be addressed by the ORC, not OLG.

Recent comments made to this paper (The Belleville Intelligencer) by Baymount's consultant are misleading in suggesting that Baymount was unable to share information with the public because of a confidentiality requirement from OLG.

OLG does not have any agreements with Baymount that prevent them from updating the public on where they are with the development of the racetrack.

The success of this new project will yield significant benefits to the horsepeople and the municipality.

In fact, since the launch of the Slots at Racetrack program, 20 per cent of the slots revenue ($2.7 billion) has been paid to the racetracks and the horsepeople of Ontario.

OLG has also contributed $480 million to municipalities that host the slot facilities since the slots program began.

OLG looks forward to a strong partnership with the city and the people of Belleville.

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