Leal Discussing Kawartha’s Future

Published: February 8, 2018 02:26 pm EST

Horsepeople that race at Kawartha Downs have been awaiting an update in regard to the future of the Peterborough-area harness raceway, and Jeff Leal, Ontario's Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, has intimated that an announcement could be coming soon.

According to an article by the Peterborough Examiner, Leal’s comments came during a Peterborough County council meeting that took place yesterday (Wednesday, February 7).

When asked about what measures are being taken to secure the future of Kawartha Downs – whose slot machines are scheduled to be relocated to the new casino being built in Peterborough – Leal said that he has been discussing a plan with Ontario Finance Minister Charles Souza, and that he is not currently at liberty to divulge any specifics in regard to it.

Leal was quoted as saying, "I'm getting a briefing today or tomorrow – and we'll talk about a plan."

In an effort to solidify its future, Kawartha Downs had applied for 40 race dates for its 2018 live season. That request was denied, and the track was granted 18 dates for 2018, which was the same amount of race dates that the track hosted in 2017.

Last fall, Leal said that potential tax changes and off-track wagering options for Kawartha Downs were being explored. At the time, Leal said that he had looked into the possibility of having some slots stay at the track.

(With files from the Peterborough Examiner)



Considering there is nothing for racing east of Toronto other than 3-4 hr ship to Rideau the need for Kawartha is obvious. However to keep a track open for 18 days of racing may be a position the track owner will find unworkable financially.

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