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OMAFRA Interim Report Released; OHRIA Issues Response

Published: August 24, 2012 1:50 pm ET

Last Comment: August 29, 2012 5:30 pm ET | 61 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

On August 24, Ted McMeekin, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, released the following statement on the status of consultations being led by the horse racing transition panel.

"On June 7th, I announced that three former cabinet ministers -- Elmer Buchanan, John Snobelen and John Wilkinson -- would lead consultations with the horse racing industry to help them transition from the Slots at Racetracks program to a more sustainable model.

I have received an interim report. The panel has concluded the government made the right decision to end the Slots at Racetracks program -- a program that cost taxpayers $345 million a year. The panel said it would be a mistake to reinstate the program -- going so far as to call it 'poor public policy.'

The panel also advises that a viable horse racing industry requires ongoing funding to maintain attractive purses, sustain tracks, support breeding and grow a robust betting system.

Our government committed $50 million over the next three years to help transition the industry. The panel believes that a greater investment is required.

Our government is focused on balancing its budget while protecting vital services that families rely on, like health care and education. That's why any public transitional investment in the horse racing industry must include clear public-interest principles of fiscal accountability, transparency, a renewed focus on the consumer and a business case showing that each public dollar invested is returned to the province through tax revenues. This means the industry needs to display financial transparency.

The government has asked the panel to consult further with the industry to determine its willingness to work together in such a way that recognizes the public interest and the current fiscal climate.

I expect to receive a final report no later than the end of September."

To read the interim report, click the following link: Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel
Interim Report - August 17, 2012

On Friday afternoon, OHRIA issued the following response to the report.

In June 2012, after weeks of pressure from OHRIA and with the help of Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Ted McMeekin, the OMAFRA panel was assembled by the Liberal Government. The panel met with or received submissions from numerous organizations, associations and individuals within the horse racing and breeding industry and has now presented a report back to Minister McMeekin.

The OHRIA board has reviewed the OMAFRA panel’s report and OHRIA is appreciative of the effort of the OMAFRA panel for providing a report which has provided a path forward for the industry.

OHRIA would like to highlight the many positive statements contained in the OMAFRA panel’s report which include:

  • the horse racing and breeding industry is worth saving
  • the horse racing and breeding industry is a valuable contributor to Ontario’s economy ($2 - $2.5 billion gross expenditures)
  • the horse racing and breeding industry is worthy of government investment
  • the horse racing and breeding industry is a valuable social, cultural and community asset

The report further states that, given the significant public good derived from horse racing, the province should pursue a gaming strategy that includes horse racing and breeding as a key component based on the following assessments:

  • Without slot revenue or a new revenue stream horse racing in Ontario will cease to exist after March 31, 2013
  • Ontario’s horse racing and breed industry is labour intensive. There are 20,000 to 30,000 full time equivalent jobs which translates into employment for thousands more
  • Horse racing and breeding generates jobs, export and tax revenue
  • $50 million over three years is insufficient to build a bridge to sustainability.
  • If the industry were to shut down, the implications for thousands of people and thousands of horses would be dire

The OMAFRA report highlighted the importance of the existing Horse Improvement Program (HIP) and Ontario Sire Stakes (OSS) Program and recommends that they continue, a statement which OHRIA thinks bodes well for buyer confidence at the upcoming horse sales in Ontario.

The panel strongly encourages the government to keep horse racing in the mix of gaming opportunities in Ontario by forging “a new partnership” with the industry.

The OMAFRA panel strongly urges that the government review and decide quickly on the recommendations outlined in the report before further substantial economic losses are incurred by the horse racing and breeding industry in Ontario, including preserving the health dignity and lives of between 7,500 and 13,000 Ontario horses in 2013.

The OMAFRA panel has asked for a continuance, to work with OHRIA and the horse racing and breeding industry, to create a detailed plan for the future and is scheduled to report back with the plan to Minister McMeekin’s office by September 30, 2012.

The Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association (OHRIA) is appreciative of the OMAFRA panel’s efforts, “OHRIA recognizes the effort and worthy contribution of the OMAFRA panel and looks forward to continuing our work with the panel to formulate the plan,” commented Sue Leslie, President of OHRIA.

Sue Leslie would like to assure the industry that the OHRIA Board will continue its efforts to preserve a healthy and vibrant horse racing and breeding industry in Ontario. “We see this report as a positive step toward working with our government to achieve an outcome where the horse racing industry will continue its valuable contribution to Ontario’s economy.”

August 29, 2012 - 5:30 pmAs i read through the report

As i read through the report for the fifth time and finished it off by reading all of the comments I came to the conclusion that very few people realize how important this transition panel will become in the continuation of a healthy horse racing industry in Ontario. I am petrified that the government doesnt understand the importance of timing or urgency of their announcement with the pending yearling sales coming and the need for a confident buyer to insure we have breeding farms that are solvent come January 2013. With all that said I believe that this transition panel has set the stage for meaningful negotiations with what use to be a reluctant Liberal government and a defiant powerless industry. Minister McMeekin was thrown a bone that said the Liberals made the right decision by cancelling Sarp and that in fact it was bad public policy. Mr McMeekin at this point has annointed these three gentlemen as the three wise men who will now get together with the industry and bring forth a solution because they speak the truth. Now that the government has appointed these wise men as the mediators and purveyors of the truth lets examine what they also believe. They believe there are at least 30000 full time individuals employed in the horse racing industry. Mr Duncan your 5800 number that you used as a soundbite sounds really stupid according to the wise men. They believe that without slots or a new revenue stream the horse racing industry in Ontario will cease to exist. The comment that 7 or 8 tracks will survive on para mutuel wagering model that has been used by the Liberals to minimise the announcement has been totally blown up by these wise government appointed individuals . In fact they say that no Ontario racetrack has a viable business plan to continue racing operations after March 31, 2013. The panel also eliminates and puts forward for the government a very disgusting fact that they have downplayed since the announcement In their words "If the industry closes, the panel has received expert advise that provision should be made for the humane dispatch and disposal of 7500 to 13000 horse in early 2013." Mr McGuinty you can not sluff this off as some attention seeking horse trainer who made this stuff up to get public support but instead a strong belief put forward by your wise men. In 2008 Stan Sadinsky put forward a well meant document regarding reshaping the direction of racing and to the credit of the transition panel they pulled out many of the great ideas regarding everything from the HRO, purse pooling , transparency, creation of new revenue streams and many more. At the time the Sadinsky report suggested that the industry receive a 10 year contract in order to implement these changes and become more accountable for the revenue that was generated by Sarp. At the time the industry was not ready because all of the participants were too busy fighting over the pie to ever envision that one day the pie would be gone. The best line I heard from a breeder in PA was that the major difference between Pa and Ontario is that in Ontario all of the different groups are starting to work together because they all have a common enemy which is the Liberal government where in PA like Ontario in 2008 your enemy was someone else in the industry who you thought was getting some of your pie. I have no idea what is the right amount of revenue that it will take to bridge the gap to ensure a viable healthy racing industry but what I do know is that the government appointed panel has stepped completely out of their 50 million dollar three year mandate and have told Mr McMeekin that the number is much larger and the dire consequences of implementing anything short of a reasonable solution will be catastrophic on both human and equine participants. I have hundreds of scenarios where I believe the industry can come out better than we are today because of the use of terms such as enhanced rent, targeted purses, new revenue sources. But I will use one scenario that might help understand where I hope we are heading and it involves enhanced rent. If the ultimate choice is to pay those racetracks where their is a strong interest in racing from both the participants and the public then a contract will be drawn up whereas the government will pay rent to the operator with additional rent for the creation of a purse account to insure the rural economic benefit and a healthy horse racing community. For this rent condition sheets must highlight younger horses and focus on Ontario bred conditions and the racetracks to recieve this rent must be accountable for track condition and the promotion of live racing product. In conclusion I believe that this process has given the Liberals sufficient wiggle room where they can negotiate a contract that will insure a vibrant horse racing industry while still holding to their belief they didnt screw up. I hope sooner than later when Premier Mc Guinty is asked why the change of heart regarding the racing industry he will be able to proudly answer that it was never his intent to destroy the industry but instead to reshape it into a more vibrant industry whereby through a partnership that involves both subsidies and support the Ontario racing industry will flourish. At that point I hope most of the racing community says Thank You or even Whatever but please dont yell Its not a subsidy. I am tired of fighting.

August 29, 2012 - 12:57 pmWILL YAMAKVA - YOU ARE NOT


As a long time fan and bettor I have been saying pretty much the same thing on this website since long the before SARP was cancelled.
I started out writing letters to TV, newspapers, politicians and anyone I thought might help when the announcement was first made and tried to be very supportive of the horse racing industry.
However, I am no longer making any effort to help or offering suggestions on this website because I am so disappointed in the horse people's lack of effort in getting support other than from those already involved in racing.
I still believe that horseracing is being shafted by a bad government (I think the worst I have ever seen) but no one seems to get that without PUBLIC SUPPORT there is NO HOPE!!!!! No hope of winning the 2 bi-elections and no hope of the Liberals changing their plans.
Like you , Will, when I talk to my acquaintances nobody gives a damn about racing and I too remember crowded stands and real racing fans. They are not only discouraging younger people from participating but alienating the older fans as well. A lot of the things we loved about going to the track - dress code in the dining room, comfortable chairs suitable for 5 hours sitting, messenger bettors (boy that was a long time ago)and reasonable buffet prices have vanished along with the fans. They don't realize that many of us became fans because our parents introduced us to the sport and we in turn might introduce our children.
In all the time since the SARP announcement nothing has changed in the way of promoting product. As a matter of fact I think it got worse as I haven't seen any Saturday special stake racing on the score this year. If I remember correctly most of the big events used to be broadcast on the Score.
So goodbye again insider news. I just wanted to let Will know that he's not the only one who feels this way.

August 29, 2012 - 4:51 amWill: The problem lies with

Tom Kelly SAID...

Will: The problem lies with Paul GODFREY and the OLG..THE. SLOTS AT RACETRACKS AGREEMENT UP UNTIL THE SPRING BUDGET had been in effect since 1996. TWO OR THREE YEARS AGO MR. GODFREY was appointed to clean up the OLG because scandals involving some of the operators of the sale of 649 tickets where cheating their customers.The headlines in the toronto news became an embarisment to the LIBERAL GOVERNMENT..MR. GODFREY AT THE PODIUM declared we are going to change the OLG, modernize it he declared..THE SUBSIDY not .given to the horse racing industry would end 31 MARCH 2013. MR. DUNCAN ( finance minister MPP) agreed QUOTE : YES THERE ARE FAR TOO MANY RACETRACKS IN ONTARIO: UNQUOTE...MR.DUNCAN continues with the money saved? He will put towards health and education , read between the lines and you will see that is a diversion from what GODFREY said! GODFREY said he is going to create 29 gaming zones in Ontario and racetracks outside the GTA will close and the rural governments in those ( outside zones) will choose to host gambling BINGO PARLOURS and off track betting. GUESS WHAT BILLIONAIRE OWNS THE BINGO HALLS? RIGHT GODFREY,S BUDDY. DO YOU SMELL A CONFLICT OF INTEREST? ISN'T strange with 7.5 million people in the GTA there happens to be 33 liberal MPP,s? Even one of them Jeff Leal jumped on the bandwagon two days after I had a letter to the editor published in the PETERBOROUGH EXAMINER....EXPOSING GODFREY DUNCAN and MCGINTY as the three stooges...IT MIGHT HELP IF YOU COME TO THE RALLY THURSDAY 12 NOON at Queens park Toronto .respectfully yours ..THOMAS GEORGE KELLY standardbred Canada groom...

August 28, 2012 - 5:57 pmPerhaps I am totally

Will Yamakva SAID...

Perhaps I am totally ignorant....

but as someone that is NOT an owner or employee in the field, and someone that has read this site for the past few months, am I failing to see where the horse people are actually doing anything tangible to lure new racing fans?

While you are all barking at the government for the lottery money, have you all actually taken a look at your product, and how it affects the other 89% of the province that is not interested in horse racing?

Be real with yourselves and look at what the studies and all that are saying.... and then look at how things are elsewhere....

1) What has Ontario horse racing done to lure new bettors to the game?

Little to nothing. My girlfriend is 24 years old, and I sent her on a trip to the race track with her girlfriends, and gave them $300 to have a decent time and bet and what not. Not only was there no kiosks to help her, but when she was given a program, there was no one to help or explain or anything what it was she was getting. She was confused why so many tracks were running in addition to the local card she was watching. Again, no one to explain anything. Figuring out the betting, was no fun either. She swore she would never go back. She had much better places and other sporting events she could go to than horse racing.

Horse racing really needs to look at how to make this experience a good one for the 20 somethings. Casinos have LONG taken over as they offer far more than just the "here is something to bet on" product that the tracks in Ontario are offering (except woodbine)

2) The product at these local tracks, gets little to no coverage, hence no stars are really made in this sport.

While all of you will be able to shout out your favourite driver, go to say, a Blue Jay game, and ask a random fan to name his favourite jockey, horse, driver, trainer.... anything. There is NOTHING on television. I recall (one Ontario city) had a show on Rogers but it was brutal and didn't lure anyone other than current fans to watch. Having shows with the locals need to be entertaining. While all of you are talking about the stuff on the Score.... is that really enough? Not really. Its on during obscure hours on a Monday. The Thoroughbred show on Sundays, is great too, but to ask the average fan to tune in for 5 hours? Its stretching it.

3) If you really want to get support on this, why are you not targeting the common city folk and giving them a reason to care?

I live in the heart of Toronto, and for the life of me, can't find a person that cares. I love horse racing and watch and wager daily, but I cant find a soul that knows or cares about your plights.

I hope the best for this industry, but watching the people here, and the whining and complaining going on, its clear that this is destined to fail. I remember watching racing and the stands were packed. Now, if 30 people are in the stands at certain Ontario tracks, I am stunned.

August 28, 2012 - 3:20 pmAnother rally planned I see.

Another rally planned I see. Well you should know going in that a private members bill has a slim chance of ever being voted on let alone passed. It will be nice to show Dalton & company that you not going anywhere but seriously when the results of those two bi-elections are known, then you'll know better where your at. If the Liberals win, it's over period. So rallies are nice but some of you should be planning for the next move and remember it can take up to six months to get a green card.

August 28, 2012 - 2:31 pmI just wish that a PC or NDP

Phil Porter SAID...

I just wish that a PC or NDP MPP would stand up in Parliament and demand that the Liberals answer the question as to the 'real' reason the SARP is being cancelled. Instead of the smokescreen of "subsidy vs partnership", "poor public policy" and "taxpayer's money would better be used for health care and education"........the 'real' reason is to change the gaming landscape by eliminating the competition (SARP) and pave the way for the private foreign ownership of casinos. This is even more relevant when the requirements to hold referendums in new casino locations were quickly changed by the OLG. This is not a coincidence, but a clear attempt to put in place a regulation that removes barriers that were currently in place. Hopefully, the passage of Bill 76 will force the OLG/Liberals to 'blink' and to revisit this issue.

August 27, 2012 - 7:40 pm“We see this report as a

Ralph Sucee SAID...

“We see this report as a positive step toward working with our government to achieve an outcome where the horse racing industry will continue its valuable contribution to Ontario’s economy.”


We have been quite clearly advised by some VERY SAVVY lifelong Politicians that we are going down the WRONG PATH. Will we listen???

August 27, 2012 - 7:30 pmWhy is the NDP so interested

Paul Kelly SAID...

Why is the NDP so interested in fixing the problem now. The damage is done. We can only hope that the Liberal party will make some necessary changes to accomidate our needs.

August 27, 2012 - 6:55 pmFor perspective, the OLG

For perspective, the OLG spends 83 million on freebies each year and 300 million on advertising. The resort casinos spend another 260 million on freebies for high rollers, which helps the OLG achieve a LOSS of 100 million.How's that for fiscal transparency, accountability, and sound business practise? The OLG brain trust is just as a dull-witted as the government.

August 27, 2012 - 6:51 pmThank you for your time and

Thank you for your time and effort Mr. Kingshott, very nicely put, but these so called representatives of our well being, are a bunch of non educated ADMINISTRATORS THAT DO NOT KNOW WHAT THE WORD OR JOB MEANS, they are a bunch of LIA---LAWYERS who know how to administer a profit for them selfves, with there hidden SECTIONS AND PARAGRAFES, PROMISES,you know what I mean??
And to Mr Georg Leber, don't think for one second that we can revock their retirement salaries or have them work for 25 years before being able to receive their non deserved retirement. I am with you, I would have no trouble revoking their pension or voting to make it mandatory to be a politician for 25 yrs before you are able to receive your pension monies.Most of them being LIA---LAWYERS, they have all the bases covered.And I really liked your comment. HAVE A GOOD DAY. OPPS, What a beautifull and CORRUPT world we live in and not to many seem to care, just look at the percentage of voters that vote.

August 27, 2012 - 3:36 pmJust imagine the OMAFRA Horse

Amber Orser SAID...

Just imagine the OMAFRA Horse Racing Transition panel appointed by the Liberals arriving at the conclusion "the Liberals made the right decision to cancel SAR"!!!!!Did we really expect anything different? I wonder just what benefits these former Cabinet Ministers have been promised in return for their supporting this decision??? I am hearing radio messages each and everyday with the plight of the Teachers in Ontario. Would it not be a good idea to have our issues aired in the same manner. We don't seem to be getting our messages to the public where necessary. Never do we seem to make the news on TV or radio unless it has a negative spin to it. We need positive reinforcement of our demands and issues brought forward to the public . Our own publications aren't enough. We need the support of the people who are unaware of the implications that will be the results of the ending of Slots at Racetracks program .

August 27, 2012 - 2:14 pmEveryone still makes it sound

Everyone still makes it sound as though the gov't is giving us 1B. If they close the SARP they think they will be getting that 1B BUT from where if there are no slots. They will have nothing.

August 27, 2012 - 2:13 pmWe shall see how many NDP and

Chuck Ibey SAID...

We shall see how many NDP and hopefully some Liberals support Lisa Macleod on Thursday. I hope our industry shows up to support her or it appears we are non-supportive.

Chuck Ibey

August 27, 2012 - 1:46 pmHow is the present Liberal

How is the present Liberal government going to make up the lost revenue and still pay the massive payroll at OLG. Oh, pardon me, obviously they will borrow the money. They lose the slot revenue, the handle from the dollars bet on horse racing, and the income taxes they get from the now laid off workers who are on federal employment insurance. Will someone take the time to explain how any of these decisions make any kind of sense what so ever. Hope some one has an answer. sincerely Bruce T. Winning

August 27, 2012 - 9:10 amI'm out there Shayne - I'm

I'm out there Shayne - I'm always "happy" to comment on stories in the media as a "participant" whenever possible. I guess we should not have expected much different from this report. I am still pleased with the overall tone of the panel. There just seems to be sentences here and there and a couple of paragraphs that do not fit with most of what is being said. I still think there were a couple of changes made by McGuinty and Duncan before it was released to the public. As Lynne has stated previously, since this panel was mandated by the Liberals, it was certainly expected that the current SARP would not be endorsed. I believe we still must push for a similar ammended slot program, and not be content to live off of Ontario taxpayers as suggested. We all know the SARP is not a subsidy, but the current suggestions most certainly are. We need to get behind MPP Lisa McLeod this week and haul our butts to Queens Park. I would like to know if there are plans to run buses from the Rideau Carleton area?

August 26, 2012 - 5:24 pmConsidering the cuts the

Considering the cuts the McGinty goverment has made in its latest budget, read Mark Bonokowski's column in today's Sun Media. If not totally appalled you should be. There is more to this guy than meets the eye. Bruce T. Winning

August 26, 2012 - 4:52 pmYou know ladies and gentlemen

Diane Lord SAID...

You know ladies and gentlemen of the horse racing industry of Ontario,.... you have a constitutional right to demonstrate, and all you've been doing for the past year, is talking. Why don't you demonstrate on the downtown streets of Toronto? The students in Montreal were, and are still, demonstrating every night in downtown Montreal. And all your doing is

August 26, 2012 - 3:03 pmShayne, surely I am not the

Bobbi Morley SAID...

Shayne, surely I am not the only one who has posted on here AND sent numerous letters to local and national papers, as well as to several T.V programs, like W5, Goldhawk, etc. We just aren't on the radar. Instead of signs and billboards, maybe we should have been taking out full page ads. Don't know what else to do.

I carry around sheets of stats, and the "Broken Promise" flyer and hand it out to anyone I can, as well as tell everyone around me what is going on.

August 25, 2012 - 10:28 pmIt is clear who was running

It is clear who was running the show. Mcguinty. It is in his power to attempt to right the ship. That ship being, a number of Ontario's crown jewels. Through McGuinty's wisdom of trying to save one crown jewel, he thinks he must forfeit another crown jewel, let's see how he's doing. Back in 1998, the then Ontario Government sent in an albatross, meaning, the SARP to help the racetrack and horse business compete and enhance gaming.

While the albatross, (SARP), turned out to be the most successful crown jewel in Ontario. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been made each year, each year getting better than the last. Who could ask for more? It was a grand slam for all involved. The albatross (SARP), lead us out of troubled waters to smooth sailing. Now McGuinty wants to kill the Albatross (SARP) because other areas of Ontario's crown jewels are in trouble. After much consideration from all parties, what it all comes down to is: it is such a bad decision to kill the albatross (SARP) that the person who made the decision shall be cursed with guilt for the rest of their life. Reference the poem by the english poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge written in 1797 the Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner. We will hang the albatross around the neck of the person who killed the albatross as a reminder of the bad decision they made. You can also reference the song Albatross, by Big Wreck. The song just came out the first of this year, how ironic.


Len Campbell Jr.

August 25, 2012 - 7:37 pminstead of commenting here,

instead of commenting here, why not everybody go to the local newpaper sites and comment on those sites... here it is only the horsemen/women that read it... in the newspaper we get the word to the public!!!
Just an idea.

August 25, 2012 - 5:52 pmsecond time ive heard this in

jim cauchon SAID...

second time ive heard this in last three weeks....a double liberal byelection win in september will be mcguinty`s swan song...liberals feel it would be his vindication as a great premier and the right time to bow out and who knows,,,fed leader try,, who knows.

this egotistical party and all its greedy henchmen need to be beaten down that fateful september night...this is mcguintyéduncan validation and legacy at stake..and a total repudiation of hudak and the hapless conservatives,,

make history that night k-w and woodbridge,,,,,,dont let these unbelievable bunch of greedy politicians and all of their mindless lockinstep followers get away with `majority muder`

get out and be heard.....this is a mcguinty vanity play....this is watching the ontario liberals putting the cherry on top of their shameful decade long run. there is nothing more they can break...nothing more they can lie their way out of.

stop them.

thank you.

August 25, 2012 - 1:55 pmFYI Kitchener-Waterloo

Alison Moore SAID...


Kitchener-Waterloo byelection candidate forum planned Monday

WATERLOO — Ask questions of candidates in the Kitchener-Waterloo byelection campaign in a public meeting Monday in Waterloo.

The public forum is set to run 7 to 9 p.m. in the Waterloo Inn, 475 King St. N. It will be in the Viennese Ballroom.

Candidates from the Green Party, NDP, Liberals and Progressive Conservatives will take part.

The Waterloo Region Record is partnering with the Conestoga school of media and design to host the forum. The session will be streamed online at and broadcast on 88.3 CJIQ FM radio.
The byelection was called to replace long-time Conservative MPP Elizabeth Witmer, who resigned the seat in April.

August 25, 2012 - 12:16 pmWhile there is some light at

Bobbi Morley SAID...

While there is some light at the end of the tunnel, it does not address what happens to those with horses for sale before the Sept.30 report, and does nothing to repair the damage done to the breeding industry over the last few months.

It does not demand that government itself operate in a transparent way, with benchmarks and accountablity, and certainly doesn't say where all the money that the government took in over the years has gone.

August 25, 2012 - 11:56 amSomeone from the Liberal side

Don Patrick SAID...

Someone from the Liberal side needs to explain how it will work better when Bingo Hall operators (Larry Tannenbaum) will be keeping 47% of the revenue from their machines, with the Province getting 25% of revenues.

August 25, 2012 - 11:18 amThe panel is just another

The panel is just another ploy by the LIBERALS to try and make peace with the horseman and all aspects of Agriculture. I have said all along this was a stacked deck and it sure seems to be true.....Apart from Mr. McMeeken, whose job is Agriculture, the other 3 are another pile of wasted tax dollars and I for one resent MY TAX DOLLARS going down the toilet while this is only and INTERIM report......Yes, Liberal panel...milk this or all its worth...guarantee yourselves a pay check.
We all know that the casino dreams will fail and by then it will be too late to say "I TOLD YOU SO" All they have to do is look at one of the Niagara casinos that is losing millions already but Liberals want to continue to Loose Money..!!! Hand it off then to in-efficient ministries and you know it will be wasted....E health, Ornge, Hydro One, All day Kindergarten. & don't forget the OLG...and for good measure throw in Agriculture ...And allow the US casino operators to transfer across the boarder the revenue that should be staying in Canada.

August 25, 2012 - 10:44 amlike many of you--i have been

dave mcgee SAID...

like many of you--i have been involved in the horse racing industry the past 40 + years as a race secretary--paddock judge--trainer--owner @ breeder--i seen it all- when garden city raceway closed as said thats business--when greenwood closed--i cried--the world has changed--the fall of communism--the fall of the berlin wall--dictatorships have fallen--now theres is only one major event left--THE FALL OF THIS LIBERAL ANARCHY--the old saying that the phoenix will rise from the ashes--one can only hope that our industry will also rise to better things--lets not give up.

August 25, 2012 - 8:34 amLiberal's puppets says that

Paul Goff SAID...

Liberal's puppets says that the government gives 345mil. a year to horse racing industry. That 345mil should be spent on schools and health care, but they are never going to see that 345mil. If they had said times are tough we need a bigger percentage of the slot revenue to fund our schools and hospitals. We'd all be upset but when push come to shove we would do for less to save our schools and hospitals. They have not stated what the new deal is going to be. I am pretty sure no casino operator is going to do it for less than 25% not to mention the capital money needed to build these facilities. Either way no partner in the casino/slots is going to do it for less than what the horsepeople do and unless the government is going to do it all on their own somebody is getting that 345mil not the school or health care.

August 24, 2012 - 11:20 pmIn letter I recently sent to

In letter I recently sent to the Guelph tribune, in response to Liz Sandals article, I believe it better summed up the reasons as to why the agreement isn't a subsidy but is a private public agreement as the siteholder agreements show. The letter is as follows for anyone interested:

Dear Editor,

In 1998 the government and the horse racing industry entered into a private public agreement known as the Slots at Racetrack Program(SAR). This agreement was entered into by the government because the municipalities were opposed to having slot machines placed near urban centres since Casinos are well known for stripping the money from the local populations, such as can be seen in Windsor, Halifax or around Atlantic City for example. The government, aware of the potential revenues from slot based gambling, was looking for a suitable location to house slot machines.

The horse racing industry having already established gambling zones offered to upgrade their facilities in exchange of a percentage of the revenue from the machines. The industry itself had already been in decline as a result of lottery based gaming expansion and knew full well that placing gambling competition into your facilities would fast track the decline in pari-mutuel wagering. The municipalities hosting the racetracks were aware of the economic spinoffs the tracks created and were worried the dire effects proceeding that would impact locals jobs and economics.

The government, the racetracks and the municipalities entered into the SAR agreement on the following terms. The government would recieve 75% of the revenue. The racetracks would recieve 20% of the revenue, split 50/50 between the track and the purse accounts. The municipalities worried about the dire effects of Casino style gambling were given 5% of the revenue for the first 450 machines and 2% for any machines over 450 to help offset the damage. Between the benefits to the horse racing industry and their slot revenue flowing back into the community, the municipal leaders were more then willing to agree to host slot machines at the tracks.

In Liz Sandals' recent article, it is quoted as saying "the 1998 agreement was one that came about to help a struggling industry, but it was not an indefinite deal". The agreement was about finding an acceptable place for slot machines. To claim that the Conservative Government , facing a large deficit from Bob Rae's Government, entered into the agreement to help a struggling industry would be insanity. The Conseratives entered into the agreement out of the necessity to increase revenues, not to "help a struggling industry". The fact it did help the industry was secondary to their primary goal. The racetracks had the agreement because it was the most reasonable place for casino type gambling that municipalities would accept. To even begin to cliam the agreement is a subsidy is utterly foolish.

The SAR agreement was entered into under scutiny and as such the agreement was reached with an out clause, allowing the government to end the agreement with 280 days notice. The municipalities were very worried about their communities turning into slums if the agreement didn't work out as intended. However, the agreement was a success. It revitalized the industry and allowed for major infrastructure funding for the municipalities. It funded parks, arenas, road services and helped lower property taxes. Milton for example, will see a 25% property tax increase should SAR program end. This is why I find it appalling that Sandals considers the agreement "very odd where you pay a municipality to take a business which creates jobs and assessment". Her comment underlines how the Liberal Government doesn't understand the fundamentals of the SAR agreement. The percentage helped mitigate damage and associated risk with bringing slots in. It also underlines as such that Liberals are unlikely to enter into similar agreements with their new Casino partner in regard to helping municipalities. They don't understand the risk or acknowledge the damage Casinos cause. They consider it odd to pay the municipalities to save their communities. To claim that it is 25% of your revenue that is "suppose to go to public services like education and health care" is essentially saying you should be living in shambles to pay teachers and doctors if you want to host a casino.

For 14 years everyone involved benefited. No municipalities were ruined, the horse racing industry thrived and the government soaked up 75% of the revenue, much of which went to health care and education. As expected the introduction of the slot machines to the tracks fast tracked the decline of pari-mutuel wagering but the slot revenue helped offset the decline. Pari-mutuel wagering fell well below sustainable levels and in particular the tracks designed their facilities to better accomodate slot machine playing since it was becoming their primary revenue source. Essentially the racetracks put all their eggs in one basket believing that an agreement that helped everyone was sustainable. According to the Liberal Government they were wrong.

In 2009/2010 SAR program made the government $963M in net profit, while the horse racing industry recieved $334M and the municipalities recieved $60M. In addition retroactive taxes skyrocketed paying $382M federally, $261M provincially and $138M municipally as overall expenditures went up. This begs the question if the money the horse racing industry recieves is a subsidy then why does the total tax revenue recieved by the various branches of government more then exceed the total amount of money the industry recieves as part of the SAR agreement? The fact is it isn't a subsidy but as the agreement shows it is a private public agreement that supports a segment of the total industry. It allows other segments to maximize its investment in the industry. It is these expenditures in the industry that shows how dramatic the damage will be. These expenditures totaled $4.5B which proves the fallout from the industry would be far worse then what Sandals would have you believe. Sandals artcles says ""the vast majority of horses in Ontario are not race horses," she said explaining that a shrinking racing community won't mean that goods and services won't continued to be required for others in the non-racing equine industry". This point is completely irrelevant when you are talking about goods and services versus population. To put it in perspective 65% of the entire expenditures of the Ontario Equine Industry is spent in the racing sector. How many business can survive a 65% reduction in business I have to wonder? Don't worry Liz says it won't be that bad. In addition the racing sector spends a great deal of money in research and funding for the University of Guelph's Large Animal Clinic. One has to ask is undermining funding to a University helping education?

To sum it up we have a government moving in foreign owned casinos while shutting down its most profitable gambling program. It appears to be undermining municipalities while providing the industry with a paltry 50M across 3 years, for 3 breeds. Currently the horse racing industry is facing the possible collapse of the breeding industry as confidence in the market is what will drive yearling purchases. Unless the Government has a sustainable plan going into the future, soon we will see the collapse of the entire industry. One has to remember the words of WEG CEO Nick Eaves when the government continues to downplay the level of damage the removal of SAR will cause "that if an agreement isn't reached with the Ontario Government to work out some sort of "operating model" Woodbine may have to cease to operate after March 31, 2013" and "it should be interpreted as a realistic outcome in the event a program (the slots-at-racetracks program) that has worked as successfully as it has isn’t replaced with something that can support racing in the context of an overall gaming strategy”.

August 24, 2012 - 11:17 pmeveryday I work in this

Tim Dean SAID...

everyday I work in this political environment....
Next comment will come from the Liberals "we will continue to work with the horserace industry, our focus will be on education and healthcare...
We have given the horse industry $50 million in order to transistion into a self supporting industry."
Then they will take the document and throw it on top of the Drummond Report
Is anyone watching the $50 million....I bet the panel of 3 have been paid very well...whats the number, maybe $5000/meeting each...thats a going rate
forgot plus expenses
would that make the document worth $500,000.00 easy

August 24, 2012 - 9:23 pmIN A PREVIOUS POST, I

Georg Leber SAID...

IN A PREVIOUS POST, I predicted the first order of business was for the panel to decalre the importance of keeping the panel together and that was accomplished. I also predicted that they would have to wait until after the by-elections to come up with further recommendations.

Of course I am not that intuitive, it was a no-brainer. The reality is that I do not have confidence in the upcoming sales.

I am not a fan of how he said it but I have to agree with Tom Gibson who pointed out that the slots are gone and we have to move on. That train has sailed. So now we have to hope for a good result in the by-election. If the Liberals sweep the seats then the amount we get as a subsidy (this time it will really be a subsidy) will be much less.

Perhaps now the Liberals will also shut down Libraries, Museums, Art Galleries and Zoos as well. They all rely on subsidies as do many other businesses and public services.

Next we should revoke the pensions we pay any elected politician if they havent served for a minimum of 25 years. I know it was promised to them but who cares. I have no problem backing out of that deal. Anyone else want to keep paying it? There alone we could save billions.

If you are in the ridings that are up for by-elections vote hard and vote often.

Georg Leber-ICR Racing

August 24, 2012 - 7:34 pmBe very Careful of the

Carolyn Rae SAID...

Be very Careful of the Liberal Government's Pre-election "Good News". After all it was just before the last election the Liberal Government was singing the praises of its very successful Revenue Sharing Partnership with the Horse Racing in Ontario vis a vis Slots-at-Racetracks Program. After winning enough seats to control this Province, (with the help of Andrea Horwath and her party), they did a complete turn about and cancelled the Slots at Racetracks Partnership, cold turkey with no warning and no discussion. Does anyone honestly believe this was never discussed prior to the election? Next the gas plant..... in order to save that seat, they scrapped it pre-election, costing us another 190 million to clean up that mess. Ironically, they reveal the OMAFRA Panel's report, just 2 weeks before two very important by-elections. What's to stop them from trashing this whole report, dismissing the panel and carrying on with the destruction of our industry, if people in Vaughan and Kitchener-Waterloo are led down the garden path, by the lure of more rose petals, and foolishly support this party once more. We need to work harder than ever to ensure the Liberals don't win either of these two seats, and by so doing, ensure they follow through on their promise to further review and work with OHRIA to clean up this mess they have created!

August 24, 2012 - 6:49 pmSounds similar to E health,

ron gilbert SAID...

Sounds similar to E health, Ornge and the gas plant in Mississauga, where is the accountability, transparency and public interest, will any of these give a dollar back for a dollar spent...
Think NOT
190 million to eat for the gas plant to get a few liberal votes would have gone nicely to healthcare or education.....

August 24, 2012 - 7:47 pmWill Larry Tananbaum and U.S.

John Hill SAID...

Will Larry Tananbaum and U.S. casinos have a business case that returns each public dollar invested through taxes, SAR does, I myself will probably pay more taxes than either Tanenbaum or casino owners. Now the liberals want to give up a billion $ a year to truly subsidize us ? No wonder the province is in financial trouble.OLG has forgotten why slots are located at racetracks,people don't want them in their neighbourhoods, as they are finding out now.The panel states about SAR "the results expected all expectations" ,so lets cancel it ?It also states there was" no monitoring system in place", sound familiar (ORNGE) so we are to pay for government mismanagement.

August 24, 2012 - 6:34 pmThis whole thing stinks of

Jim VanBoven SAID...

This whole thing stinks of backroom deals and greed. Did anybody think that the panel would oppose the current government? Leave it to politicians to ruin an industry.

August 24, 2012 - 6:12 pmIt makes me sick to my

brian hancox SAID...

It makes me sick to my stomach to see the Liberal Committee talk only about the 345 million they gave to horse racing without once stating the Province receives over 1.1 billion dollars in return. To be this far along and still have the Liberals spreading this untruth is very sad to see and continues to tell me how out of touch they still are with regards to the horse racing industry in Ontario.

August 24, 2012 - 6:06 pmThe report contains several

Rick Karper SAID...

The report contains several references to events in Quebec. What is not mentioned, is the fact that currently almost all VLTs in the province are in the bars. The bar supplies the location and in return, receives 22% (down from 26%earlier) of the profit. This is a business relationship, much as the SAR program is. I don't believe that the government would say that it SUBSIDIZES the bars.

Rick Karper
Montreal, Quebec

August 24, 2012 - 5:26 pmIf you all spent as much time

Tom Gibson SAID...

If you all spent as much time coming up with a going forward plan as you do blaming everyone but the industry itself you wouldn't be in the boat you are. Slots are gone.Move on.

August 24, 2012 - 5:06 pmWith all due respect to

With all due respect to government ( which virtually amounts to none ), all that this interim report seems to imply us that the committee wants to re-invent the tried and true mousetrap. By giving, the government an apparent "I told you we were right to cancel the SAR program" excuse, yet emphasizing the necessity for replacement funding it is just political posturing.
Furthermore, by asking for accountability and transparency... Please tell me why they haven't done that with ORNGE, e-health, or the auto industry bailouts. For most circumstances, the horse racing industry is operated by the government agencies ORC and CPMA. These agencies have left the large majority of any innovation and marketing initiatives illegal or impossible. Mr. McMeekin et al. ... Look no further than the end of your nose who to blame for the mess ye hast created. Now fix it.

August 24, 2012 - 4:40 pmThe Minister's comments are

Carolyn Rae SAID...

The Minister's comments are certainly no surprise. This puppet is dangling on McGuinty and Duncan controlled strings. The panel, members appointed and very generously paid by this Liberal Government, has put forth the "normal" report...... further discussion required!! Well I guess so, how else will they milk these lucrative pay cheques (paid for by the tax payers of Ontario)for as long as they can? And only the outcome of the two by-elections may determine whether or not the panel is listening to anything they are being told other than by McGuinty and Duncan - "Repeat after Me..... Horse Racing is costing the Tax Payers of Ontario 345 million a year." WHAT A FARCE..... WHAT A JOKE! It's time to silence this broken record!

August 24, 2012 - 4:36 pmDo Not Understand? If the

Terry DeVos SAID...

Do Not Understand? If the government cannot justify to the "public", paying 20 percent of revenue share to the horsepeople of Ontario, how do they explain to the public that 47 percent of a Bingo Hall/OLG revenue is given to the owner of the Bingo Hall and only 25 percent to the government. Is that clear public-interest principles of fiscal accountability ?

August 24, 2012 - 4:17 pmI guess this is what you get

I guess this is what you get when you use panel members within the present Government and being paid by the same Government. By creating this new panel, running the panel and the amount of public money we're talking about.... I can see a few hundred million being spent. Where do I send my resume?

August 24, 2012 - 4:13 pmMark has hit the nail on the

Mark has hit the nail on the head. The panel couldn't call the government stupid, but, if one reads the final conclusions, it does seem to put the Liberals squarely behind the eight ball. The industry has to get its act together and face the reality of the situation. If the government is willing to work with the industry, it should meet them half way to ensure its survival. Perhaps, when their casino dreams turn out to be absolute rubbish, the shoe will be on the other foot.

August 24, 2012 - 4:05 pmWho among you still don't

Who among you still don't believe the fix was in from the beginning. What a joke another sad day for the great sport of horse racing. The now have not province of Ontario as a direct result of the policies of Dalton McGuinty is going to give up $1.1B in money that could be spent usefully on many things oh wait what am I saying Liberals and smart spending equals fantasy land. Where are the hard hitting TV ads calling these guys on the carpet?
How can you sit down a negotiate with these guys they need to be stopped and soon.

Hello leadership what is your plan c thru z since your going to need them all.

August 24, 2012 - 4:03 pmI read this report page by

Peggy Powell SAID...

I read this report page by page and I am very happy that at least the panel recognizes the importance of the racing industry to the economy to the employment and to rural Ontario. However if no benchmarks were put in place that was the fault of the government & the ORC and because of their lack of foresight at least 1/2 of our industry will disappear.I still can't understand why our government wants to dissolve the most profitable gamming adventure they have in hopes of getting more. The 5 casinos that they opperate now are at best keeping their heads above water so why do they want to invest in more loosing ventures? Why should we give our province over to anyone connected to organized crime? Toronto doesn't want it. Hamilton doesn't want it . Mississauga doesn't want it. The best place for the slots is at the racetracks. Is the government willing to subsidize us now?

August 24, 2012 - 4:01 pmMr. Paul Gangle has it

Mr. Paul Gangle has it exactly correct(well done). If you pay the Piper they play your tune. You don't go to the guy with 4 aces and ask for a redeal it won't happen!!

August 24, 2012 - 4:00 pmOut of the mouths of the

Out of the mouths of the Liberals and into the OMAFRA report.

Quote from the report: "In the consultations we often heard SARP referred to, not as a subsidy, but as a "partnership". If it is a partnership, it is a very one-sided one. It may work great for the industry - but what's in it for the public?" What's in it for the public, how about over a billion dollars a year?!! The continued referral to the horsemen and track's 20% revenue share of the SARP as "public funds" or a subsidy is very frustrating.

Even though the end of the SARP should mean the end of the government's 80% share, I am concerned by the statement that the panel believes slots will still be located at some racetracks. Quote: "Although racetracks will no longer receive a percentage of slot revenues once SARP ends, OLG plans to retain slots facilities at racetracks where it believes there is consumer interest. Negotiations between OLG and some racetrack owners for the rental of the space required for slot facilities have begun."

There are certainly some good things in this report. The Liberals will have to revise all of the incorrect figures regarding employment and economic spin off they have been shoving at the public. If we could just make them realize the SARP program is highly successful, mutually beneficial, and worth saving with some revisions regarding accountability, vision and focus.

August 24, 2012 - 3:53 pmI don't understand the

Eric Lock SAID...

I don't understand the negative reasoning behind using the 345 million yearly to fund an industry vs 345+million the government will allow to go to another individual or individuals as compensation for housing the slots. Their new profit sharing formula will definitely not create more income for the government simply less money for the industry. The term subsidy keeps this whole process going in circles, and when the government finally comes up with the numbers after the cancellation of the SAR programme, i hope someone has managed to document all of the rhetorical, non-discript, non-logical thinking that has preceded this change. Someone will be charging a fee, and racking in a profit to provide a service and you can bet it will be more than the current horseman's share. This industry can and will survive, but at what cost.

August 24, 2012 - 3:53 pmWhat they are saying is there

What they are saying is there is going to be "conditions" attached to what ever money the horse racing industry receives after next year.

After next year the industry will be receiving taxpayers money.

August 24, 2012 - 3:52 pm"....a program that cost

Don Patrick SAID...

"....a program that cost taxpayers $345 million a year." LIES, even in the report. If you are an Ontario tax payer, it doesn't cost you a nickel, unless you choose to play in the slot parlours. That $345 comes from nowhere else. Even this panel is spinning the Liberal nonsense.

August 24, 2012 - 3:49 pmThe problem with the OMAFRA

The problem with the OMAFRA report stems simply from the fact that the information required for a full economic review that is available is widely varied and based on many different assumptions. An independent group needs to do a new economic report with input from within the industry to determine the full effects of a partial support package. The industry is not able to calculate it with any of the available reports I've seen thus far.

One of the biggest holes is this discreptancy from unpaid labour costs meeting overall training costs. The results you will receive depend on the questions asked in the report. Many farms are run partly by their family and obviously don't directly pay themselves however they charge a training bill that goes to feed their family. This is why with them coming and saying that total expenditures are between 2-2.5 billion is so weird. They later say 11600 owner units pay $279,000 each. This alone accounts for 3.2B in expenditures which furthermore adds to the confusion of the OMAFRA report. They also switched around average purses for Owners with horses when talking about overall expenditures which leads them to unsubstanciated caluclations when you consider that the average purse per owner unit is about $23,000 minus driver and trainer percentage from that. The largest infux of money comes from owner based expenditures and generally how much money the industry should be getting should be based on owner expenditures that as a result drive tax revenues.

The only real good thing coming from this report is the recognization that no track will be able to operate after march 2013 without some sort of financial revenue stream. In addition because the OMAFRA report states the above you can now clearly prove that the removal of SARP will cause a job loss greater then the amount of jobs generated by putting 334 million into healthcare or education. Even in the reports low ball estimates of 20,000 FTE jobs.

The real question that needs to answered by the Auditor General is what is the proper amount of money to be received by the industry to support job growth when compared to other public services? Are we receiving to much or to little?

August 24, 2012 - 3:32 pmOK ....Transparency....You

James Feeley SAID...

OK ....Transparency....You know we welcome that. Let us really see what is behind the curtain.What is good for the goose and you know the rest. Let's also be transparent with the casino interests.Wouldn't we all love a level playing field? I hope nothing that these technocrat hacks put out there lessens your resolve, especially in the two by elections.Fundamentaly the logic is flawed...words like "subsidy" and "cost to the government" are just bogus. This has never been a subsidy for has been a moneymaker for social needs of Ontario. What do you think the real cost of casinos will be to the fabric of Ontarian society?Best defense is a vital offense. Don't let these political hacks hoodwink you. Jim Feeley

August 24, 2012 - 3:27 pmYes let's close down

Randy Copley SAID...

Yes let's close down racetracks so our polical buddies can buy up bingo halls and casinos can offer us bribes. Will the bribe money go to health care, and education. I'm so sick of everyone dancing around the topic. This deal on ending the slots is as crimenal as it gets. In 5 years time half of these clowns will be behinf bars when these casino deals and bingo hall deals get expossed for what they are. Just a joke this whole process

August 24, 2012 - 3:11 pmhold on people....ignore the

Mark Beaven SAID...

hold on people....ignore the statement by the Minister (he is simply playing politics) and carefully read the report. While I don't agree with some of the things in the report (ie...the sole purpose of the slots agreement was to save horse racing), it does go a long way to help!

The panel supports the number of jobs in the industry
The panel accepts the fact that with out public investment, racing is finished.
The panel supports that the government needs to committ to investing in racing.
While the panel agrees with cancelling the existing SAR program, it is stating that a new program needs to be impliemented. One that allows for accountabilty, benchmarking, transparency, etc.

The government is going to have a tough time not responding by developing a new program.

August 24, 2012 - 2:59 pmWhile some of the findings

chris bush SAID...

While some of the findings regarding management and transparency of slot money is true, that was a problem created by the government itself when the program was instituted. Now we expect that they have the knowledge,will, and expertise to see us thru the end of sarp. No business entity can survive in this day and age selling one product-not even Tim Hortons. Given the negative rhetoric by the current government, what chance do we really have. Interesting enough ,if the sarp program is not in the publics best interest,what positive case could anyone make for a casino? Talk about sucking the life out of an economy with little or no value added impact. However, with this report its open season for them-exactly what the government ordered. I hold very little hope for a long term self 'supporting solution' which is all horse racing asks for.

August 24, 2012 - 2:56 pmSo basically, the Panel is

So basically, the Panel is strongly suggesting that the government create a new partnership with the industry. For this to happen, a unified governing body called "Horse Racing Ontario" (HRO) will be established by the end of 2013 to oversee all aspects of the horse racing industry.

And this paragraph below is so true:

"Given the significant public investment in the horse racing industry, it is surprising that the government has so little knowledge about or expertise in equine issues. If the government enters into a new partnership with the industry, this deficiency should be remedied. At a minimum, an equine specialist position should be created in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. The person filling this post should have not only formal training but also a sound working knowledge of the industry."

The above is definitely a "must-have".

August 24, 2012 - 2:50 pmWhy did we expect any

Paul Gangle SAID...

Why did we expect any different??? Remember these guys were hired by the current gov't at a fat salary and they are not going to contravene gov't policy. Just more propaganda by the totally inept Liberals. I've said it before and I'll say it again..... the only way to save horse racing is ELECT A NEW GOV'T. And just maybe, we might get some accountability. Hope to see all of you at Queens Park on Thurs. Aug. 30.

August 24, 2012 - 2:44 pm"Although racetracks will no

Norm Brunet SAID...

"Although racetracks will no longer receive a percentage of slot revenues once SARP ends, OLG plans to retain slots facilities at racetracks where it believes there is consumer interest. Negotiations between OLG and some racetrack owners for the rental of the space required for slot facilities have begun."

If they want to cherry pick locations at racetracks then they have something coming to them, legally they owe horseman a % and that is one case that they will lose. April 1, 2013 they need to take them all out everywhere. You don't cancel a contract and then come back and NOT pay the other parties for the same services. This is a tactic that organized crime would try and these guys are lawyers ?

August 24, 2012 - 2:42 pmYes it costs them 345

Greg Hayter SAID...

Yes it costs them 345 million......but dont they get over 1 BILLION dollars in return?? Show me a place that I can get that kind of return on my investment and I will give you every nickel i have!!! These politicians are ridiculous.

August 24, 2012 - 2:39 pmIn my HUMBLE OPINION .closed

Tom Kelly SAID...

In my HUMBLE OPINION .closed after 2012 race dates(except for slot money going in to race tracks till 31 march 2013 Are SUDBURY KAWARTHA HANOVER CLINTON WOODSTOCK HIAWATHA WINDSOR....WEG will continue with BET NIGHT LIVE MON. AND WED. ,THOURABREDS IN THE SUMMER AND HARNESS RACING IN THE WINTER..MOHAWK has been declared a training centre ..THE ORC ROD SEILING will set the race dates.I left out Readeu for off track betting? Dresden might have Fall Fairs.The rest of us can bet on the computer ...No mention in the report of any organization they consulted.. Maybe it's a secret like Rob Ford and the Los Vegas Billionare...Location of the New Casino? TRY THE SOUTH SIDE OF FRONT ST.BETWEEN UNIVERSITY and SIMCOE......please reply ..T.K.

August 24, 2012 - 2:35 pmWhere do these three come up

mark lee SAID...

Where do these three come up with a cost of 345 million ? It will cost double that if they turn the slots over to anybody else.

August 24, 2012 - 2:32 pmWhy would anybody engage in

Roy Steele SAID...

Why would anybody engage in meaningfull dialogue with this govt, panel ... What a sham if you litterally take the findings of all the horsemen that spoke to the panel not one said to save the slots model. Find that very hard to believe, hope those people speak up as they are being used as political pawns.
Bring on the elections they expect us just to roll over and die its not in the horsemans DNA .... Now wait for it your going to get the Agriculture minister saying the people have spoken ........We havent even warmed up ......

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