Alberta Seeks 'A Track' Operator

Published: April 28, 2016 08:29 pm EDT

A media release issued Thursday (April 28) indicates that Horse Racing Alberta is seeking applicants interested in owning and operating a racetrack in the Edmonton area.


Horse Racing Alberta (HRA) is the horse racing governing body in Alberta. HRA’s role is to promote and facilitate the growth, integrity and economic contribution of the Alberta horse racing and breeding industry. HRA issues a limited number of licences to operate race tracks in Alberta so local markets can succeed and premier horse racing, breeding, agriculture, and quality entertainment is encouraged.

HRA is seeking Expressions of Interest from applicants to own and operate a horse racing track in or near Edmonton that includes a minimum 5/8th furlongs ‘A’ track (100+ days of Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing). It is envisioned live horse racing would be the principal business, but simulcasts (both on and off track) would also be offered at the racing facility.

Successful Expression of Interest applicants will be asked to respond to a detailed Request for Proposal (RFP). The RFP will only be forwarded to successful applicants.

Minimum Qualifications

As part of the Expression of Interest, applicants must be able to demonstrate they would qualify for a horse racing licence in Alberta. In order to qualify, as per the Racing Corporation Act, the applicant must:

• Be incorporated in the province of Alberta or as an Act of Canada’s Parliament.
• Own, lease, or have a proven intention to own or lease a horse race track.
• Conduct, or propose to conduct, live and simulcast horse races in the ordinary course of the applicant’s business.
• Be able to meet all of the requirements stipulated by the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency for the issuance of a federal permit to wager on horse racing in Canada.

Submission Content

While it is up to the applicant to determine the level of detail they wish to provide in the Expression of Interest, the submission should include the following details:

A. Cover letter

• Who is making the submission?
• Who is lead contact for the application?
• Contact information.

B. Background

• Detail regarding the applicant’s company or partners.
• Detail regarding the people who will be principally involved in developing and operating the facilities.
• Evidence that the company and/or partners are financially stable.
• Degree of experience with horse race track and gaming development and operations.

C. Qualifications

• Evidence the applicant has the minimum requirements to qualify for a horse racing licence in Alberta.
• Evidence the applicant intends to apply for a gaming licence within a Racing Entertainment Centre (REC) in Alberta as per the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission’s (AGLC) Racing Entertainment Terms and Conditions and Operating Guidelines.

D. General Plan

• Overview of development and operational plans, including proposed days of racing annually.
• Proposed location with a general site plan showing the track and placement of structures.
• Proposed financial plan.
• Tentative timeline with key milestones.

Racing Entertainment Centre

Other forms of gaming (e.g. slot machines) should be considered to be offered at the racing facility. While this Request for Expressions of Interest deals solely with the issuance of a race track licence, and it is AGLC’s mandate to issue gaming licences, it is HRA’s intention to link awarding of the race track licence to a proponent who intends to obtain a REC gaming licence.

Please note: A gaming licence to operate within a Racing Entertainment Centre (REC) in Alberta is only available from the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission. Proponents are encouraged to contact the AGLC to learn more about the gaming licence application and approval process.

Submission Deadline

The proposal deadline is 3:00 pm, May 19, 2016. Email or faxed submissions will not be accepted. Courier or mail one electronic file and five hard copies of your submission to:

Shirley McClellan, Chief Executive Officer
Horse Racing Alberta
Suite 720, 9707-110 Street
Edmonton, AB T5K 2L9

Contact Information

For information or questions regarding this Request for Expressions of Interest, contact Shirley McClellan at 780-415-5432, 780-916-7671 (cell) or toll-free at 1-888-553-7223 [email protected]. Alternatively you may contact Jeff Robillard at 780-415-5284 or [email protected].

Decision on Expressions of Interest

Applicants can expect to hear within 30 days whether they have been selected to proceed to the full RFP stage.

(with files from HRA)

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