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Kawartha To Meet Regarding Future

Published: April 1, 2018 1:59 pm ET

Last Comment: April 3, 2018 9:32 am ET | 2 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

The management team at Kawartha Downs expects to have a clearer picture regarding the track's future in a few weeks.

According to an article in the Peterborough Examiner, officials with Ontario Lottery and Gaming will be meeting with Kawartha's general manager Orazio Valente on April 12 to discuss the recently-announced long-term funding agreement.

The article states that current terms allot just over $1 million annually to Kawartha for purse and operating expenses. That amount works out to roughly $35,000 for purses and $24,000 for operating expenses per race card with additional expenses paid for from wagering revenue.

According to Valente, the purse amount could be increasing.

"That looks like it's going to get fixed," said Valente. "For example, our purse money is $35,000 a night. There are 10 races so that's $3,500 per race...When you look at the cost of maintaining a horse and trucking the horse to a racetrack, if the purses don't meet a minimum threshold then unless you win you're looking at a losing proposition."

With the track set to lose its expanded gaming -- and 85 per cent of its revenue -- when the new Shorelines Slots location opens in Peterborough this fall, the track is exploring options to lucratively repurpose that portion of its property. One concept currently under consideration is a teletheatre.

"The problem with off-track betting is it was pretty much controlled by the Woodbine Entertainment Group. My understanding is that's going to change in this new funding agreement," Orazio told the Examiner. "I look forward to seeing the details."

April 3, 2018 - 9:32 amI like that idea. Mr Valente

I like that idea. Mr Valente would have to be compensated some how. Perhaps a different use for Kawartha. Nice to see he knows who pulls the strings re horse racing.

April 1, 2018 - 4:02 pmWhat if Ajax Downs also loses

jim morgan SAID...

What if Ajax Downs also loses their slots? Why not have both harness racing and Quarter horse racing at Ajax? It is a newer building and a 5/8 mile track. They may have to change the track surface and build some barns, but Kawartha's barns are in need of repair.
Just an idea!

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