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Ruling On Revenue Allocation

Published: June 14, 2017 7:59 pm ET

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On Thursday, June 8, the final decision of a panel of the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) was released regarding an appeal by the Ontario Harness Horse Association against an earlier decision of the ORC Executive Director to allocate the Standardbred Revenue Allocation marketing funds, being held in trust by the Woodbine Entertainment Group and as of November 21, 2015, to both the Ontario Harness Horse Association and the Central Ontario Standardbred Association.

The ORC's panel denied the appeal, and decided that the Standardbred Revenue Allocation (SRA) marketing funds (the SRA funds), being in the amount of $2,125,827.00 as of November 21, 2015, are to be allocated to two horsepersons’ associations, namely, the Ontario Harness Horse Association (OHHA) and the Central Ontario Standardbred Association (COSA).

The allocation of the SRA funds will be as follows:

(i) to OHHA, a total of $515,172.41; and,

(ii) to COSA, a total of $1,610,654.59.

The allocation of funds was contingent on several conditions, including that the two associations must use the SRA funds only for “an industry marketing program, to market and promote Standardbred racing in this province,” in accordance with the “Business Plan to Support the Reduction in Pari-Mutuel Taxes,” Section A, 4.2.2, dated June 10, 1996, as amended September 15, 1996. And, further, the SRA funds shall not be used for any local association branding, or marketing outside of the Province of Ontario. The associations must also “provide evidence, on an annual basis, through written documentation” to the Registrar of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, that the SRA funds have been spent for the purposes.

In a press release, Ontario Racing (OR) announced that it supports this decision, and believes it reflects major horse racing industry changes, as noted by the ORC's decision. The approved use of marketing funds reflects the intent of the 1996 PMTR M.O.U., and will support the best interests of horse racing in Ontario, as well as be in the best public interest by ensuring value for money and strong accountability measures for the use of the SRA funds.

A full copy of the panel's decision can be found here.

(With files from Ontario Racing)

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