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Sudbury Still In Limbo

Published: April 30, 2014 4:10 pm ET

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Officials from Sudbury Downs, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. and the Northern Horsemen’s Association have provided comments regarding live racing at Sudbury Downs and possible revenue streams for the provincial racing industry.

The comments have come via an article by northernlife.ca.

The report states that Sudbury Downs applied for a 32-date season of racing this year, which is proposed to commence on May 24. The article has quoted Sudbury Downs Director Andrew MacIsaac as saying, “We're still discussing with government the future of racing in Northern Ontario,” adding that he is “very hopeful – but not optimistic.”

MacIsaac was also cited as saying that the drop-dead date for a deal to be reached has not yet been reached, although, he did not divulge when that date is. He was quoted as saying “there's some flexibility,” and that “it depends on a number of different things.”

The report has cited Northern Horsemen’s Association President Bob Bodkin as saying that negotiations are probably centering around money at this time, and that horsemen will probably flock to the track if specifics regarding funding and race dates are firmed up.

Bodkin was quoted as saying “it's a Field-of-Dreams type thing,” adding that “People will come (if they can) stable for free. But I can't tell you I'm going to come up here with 20 horses before I know that it's open. If you tell me it's open, then I'm coming.”

The report has also cited OLG spokesperson Tony Bitonti as saying that racing is being integrated into the corporation’s modernization plans, and that the process involves both provincial bodies and the federal laws that govern racing.

The article has also cited Bitonti as saying that the plan is for the OLG to help market the racetracks it has partnered with, and to create racing-themed lotteries and/or racing-themed gaming products that would create a revenue stream for the horse-racing industry.

“There's a number of options out there for us,” Bitonti was quoted as saying. “We just have to make sure they fit in with the provincial laws we deal with, and don't supersede federal laws.”

(With files from northernlife.ca)


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