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OLG To Offer Mohawk Gaming Expansion?


Published: March 22, 2012 12:17 pm ET

Last Comment: March 26, 2012 7:40 pm ET | 10 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

It has been reported that officials from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. will be meeting with the Town of Milton in April to discuss the provincial organization's new modernization strategy. Milton officials have reportedly taken the news as a positive sign, and are now beginning to speculate that the town is a desired location for gaming expansion under the OLG's new vision for provincial gaming.

According to a report by Christina Commisso on, Milton CAO Mario Belvedere said that he perceives the scheduled April meeting with the OLG as a "positive sign."

Bill Mann, director of planning for Milton, also expressed excitement for the possibility of gaming expansion for the town.

“This could allow Mohawk (Racetrack) to expand and allow slots as well as poker and blackjack tables. The revenue coming out of the facility would increase, developing Mohawk into a destination area and further generating revenue to the local municipality and the industry itself,” Mann was quoted as saying in the report, which also stated that Mohawk is the third most profitable gaming site in Ontario, trailing Ajax Downs and Woodbine Racetrack.

Commisso's report also cited the outrage that has come from the local horse-racing industry and Local Councillor Cindy Lunau. The outrage has come due to the OLG and Provincial Liberal Government's desire to decimate the Ontario industry by inexplicably cutting horse racing out of the mutually-beneficial slots-at-racetracks program, which sees the Ontario Government reap $1.1-billion in direct annual revenue each year.

The slots-at-racetracks program has been the foundation for the Ontario horse-racing industry to become the global standard other jurisdictions attempt to equal when they construct their own programs. The slots-at-racetracks program has seen Ontario racetracks concede to host expanded gaming within their walls for a relatively small percentage of the machines' revenues. Those revenues, in turn, have allowed the provincial breeding and racing industry to produce $261-million in annual tax revenue for the government; lead to the employment of 60,000 Ontarians; annually spur $2-billion in economic impact for the province, and fund a myriad of government programs, including health care and education.

“I don’t fault the OLG over what it was asked to do (cost-cut reduce the provincial deficit)," Lunau was quoted as saying in the article. "We as a society have grown to depend on this unofficial voluntary tax, which is gaming, to run our society. The OLG was asked to look at ways to maximize this.

“What I do take issue with is the way it suddenly targeted horse racing and tracks as the bad guys. Do we need to modernize, yes. But we should not throw out the whole horse industry which is one of the few things we can use to keep Nassagaweya green.”

For Trot Insider's complete coverage regarding the fallout and uproar in response to the OLG and Ontario Liberals' treatment of the provincial horse-racing industry, click here.

March 26, 2012 - 7:40 pmTom kelly: when do we hear

Tom Kelly SAID...

Tom kelly: when do we hear from the Ontario racing commission ? It would seem that at some point when the government alters an agreement that : Where live horse racing dates are established by the ORC and the slots at racetracks are allowed 24/7 .365 days a year it would have a direct impact on revenues from the betting on horses, and the government agreed to allot twenty percent of the monies to go to the towns that host the slots and the owners ( managers ) of the property to distribution of the purse money to horse owners drivers trainers as wells employees of that same establishment now say on this day 27 march 2012 the liberal govt. We want a divorce !,,,,,, In the meantime you can keep your horses,keep your training tracks, keep your employees, and we will keep all the revenue that was previously agreed was your share..The Primier and the finance minister remind me of OLIVER and HARDY when OLIVER said : NOW ISN'T THIS A FINE MESS YOU GOT ME INTO::

March 26, 2012 - 2:09 pmLet all of us never forget,

Let all of us never forget, that it was the horse racing people, the horse racing industry and fan support and the like , in general, that built the race facilities to house the gaming of slots to begin with. Amen !

March 24, 2012 - 7:59 pmTypical though, let the BIG

alan guthrie SAID...

Typical though, let the BIG survive and the LITTLE GUY die.

March 24, 2012 - 9:18 amI totally agree with rob

I totally agree with rob macdonald,make sure you ( the horse people ) are included in the sharing revenue, because if card tables and blackjack tables are allowed, this then becomes a casino and in the long run the horsemen and women will see wagering and attendance drop and down the road there will be no more horse racing. The greed of the gouvernement and the people representing the town of milton will choke you to death. I repeat greed,greed greed. Open your eyes and go back and take a look at what happened in quebec when the gouvernment opended their casino, they slowly took the life out of horse racing.the gouvernment says they are looking for ways to generate more income, well let them start by cleaning house of all the free loaders, take a cut in bonuses, pay there taxes instead of taking tax cuts and most of all give up their rediculous pension fund,most of them have already filled their pockets with enough money to last them a lifetime. Once again take a look at what happened in quebec. Beware my friends.

March 22, 2012 - 7:18 pmCasino's (table games) will

Diane Lord SAID...

Casino's (table games) will only destroy the livelihood of many families. It will also reduce drastically, the mutuel handle in places like Mohawk and Woodbine. Let us not forget, all of the horse people of Ontario. It would't be fair if only certain racetracks
do business with the OLG. Stand together with your brother's and sister's in all racetracks of Ontario.And if ever a revenue sharing agreement is put forth with the OLG at certain racetracks, please make sure to share, and to include, the revenue agreement(s) with your brother's and sister's at other Ontario base racetracks.

March 22, 2012 - 5:53 pmI believe it's called divide


I believe it's called divide and conquer. This government will stop at nothing to assure the end of slots revenue for horsemen. Turning track owners against horsemen is probably just the start. I've been wondering if there isn't a secret deal between WEG and OLG for a casino at Woodbine. The liberals can always change their minds after the slots program is officially cancelled and build the casino at Ontario Place which has already been closed in preparation for something. all involved should WATCH YOUR BACKS!!!!! This is a very dirty business. I recently wrote to the Toronto Star and suggested they do one of their investigative stories on the cancellation of slots at racetracks. It could produce a story that's even more scandalous than ORNGE and Ehealth.

March 22, 2012 - 3:33 pmHey, great idea, Dwight!!!!

Hey, great idea, Dwight!!!! We'll just send the machines from Windsor, Sarnia and Fort Erie right to Campbellville, so the GTA has more jobs created there. Will the Windsor and Sarnia horsemen be able to race their 3, 4 or 5,000 claimers there??? Pathetic!!!!!

March 22, 2012 - 2:27 pmAll Municipalities, if asked

All Municipalities, if asked by the OLG to expand, or build new, should make it contingent on the Slots-At-Racetrack Program being re-implemented.

March 22, 2012 - 3:31 pmI see no mention of horsemen

John Hill SAID...

I see no mention of horsemen getting any revenue sharing. What agreements are in place between the racetracks and the horsemen ? Are the tracks willing to throw the horse racing industry into the trash to line their own pockets ? I truly hope not but would not be shocked if they were in this everyman for himself atmosphere being nursed by the OLG. The OLG is making no mention of the horsemen only NEW relationships with the tracks. The OLG talks about gaming expansion yet there are no betting windows in the casinos or mention of it happening, everything but horse racing will be on the menu. It seems to me OLG is trying to get rid of any competion no matter what the consequences.

March 22, 2012 - 1:17 pmWhat good is expanded gaming

What good is expanded gaming at Mohawk without a revenue sharing agreement?

This helps neither the track, horsepeople or municipality. I think any racetrack that allows any form of OLG gaming to remain in their facility without revenue sharing are manking a monstrous mistake. We as an industry have got to make a stand that no OLG gaming can be permitted at our facilities without revenue sharing.

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