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Horwath Pushing For Casino Referendums?

Published: August 27, 2012 3:22 pm ET

Last Comment: September 2, 2012 1:43 pm ET | 12 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

It may not be a blanket position for the entire province, but Ontario New Democratic Party Leader Andrea Horwath last week made it clear that she supports a referendum in order for Hamilton to decide whether it wants a full-blown urban casino.

A report late last week by The Hamilton Spectator has explained that Horwath sent a letter to Hamilton City Council urging them to get feedback from the community in a “transparent process including a referendum” in regard to the casino issue.

“There needs to be, I think, a fair way of engaging the public on their opinion on something as important as this,” Horwath was quoted as saying.

She also questioned the notion that casinos in urban locations are positive moves for the communities which they are found in.

“I don’t think they’re (urban casinos are) the economic panacea that often they’re sold to be,” she was quoted as saying, adding, “I mean, I spend a lot of time in Windsor and it certainly hasn’t helped their downtown very much to have a casino right smack in the middle of it.”

(With files from The Hamilton Spectator)

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September 2, 2012 - 1:43 pmMr. Yamakva, Have you heard

Greg Parke SAID...

Mr. Yamakva,

Have you heard of the TarMac Show, Bet night Live, Extreme Fan Night, Goldrush, Industry Day,Ladies Night, etc, plus the family and open house days racetracks across Ontario hold?
Have you read the OHRIA report and or the Burgess Report.

Also explaining that the slots is set up to have the odds against the player and for the house. When you bet on a horse it is your choice and not the house to determine if you win or lose. There are more exotic wagers and cheaper wagers to make it more fun and a better chance to win.

I just came back from Sudbury Downs which is a 4 hour drive for me (holiday trip). It was one of the best racing experiences as a fan that I have ever had. I had some newcomers with me and they loved it also. They treated us very well as a lot of the smaller tracks do, but here they went above and beyond. The smaller tracks will do all they can do to give you a wonderful racing experience if you ask and book ahead of time, they want people to come to the track and feel like they had the experience of a lifetime. I will definitely be going back.

Horse racing would survive but not to the extent of the world class breeding and racing we are able to offer right now thanks to this partnership. It has also brought new monies in for the government and this new money will be gone again if this partnership is stopped.

As far as explaining to the city folk, the money does not all go back to the horsepeople, very little does, most of the money goes back to the government and they squander it on what we are not sure and that is most of the problem.
That money that goes to the government was supposed to go to Health and Education etc.

Then the follow up question would be will you be happy when the slots are gone and your property taxes go up 15%-20% to offset the loss of this partnership?

As far as the comments on this site not helping.
Do you think Anthony MacDonald would have stepped up if not for comments on this site, I am sure it pushed him harder to make the choice.
Do you think Lisa MacLeod would have put through her bill and had the rally at Queen's Park if it weren't for some of these comments.
Do you think Horwath and others would be back peddling the way they are if it weren't for this website.

If you love horse racing as much as you say you do, you probably should have known these few facts of many and would understand how and what horsepeople are doing to lure new fans and increase revenue. Comments on this website are helping QUITE A BIT!!!

Greg Parke

September 1, 2012 - 2:24 pmI would have to say that

Steve Jewitt SAID...

I would have to say that horse racing can survive without slots they did for years but not to the extent that they have been the last 10 years. I am not sure where you are coming from when you say this industry was falling to bits this industry was a money maker for this government the last ten years are numbers would rival any Crown Corp Profits .

Will i am not sure if you have gone to any of the big horse racing events this summer but i have been to most of them and they have drawn huge crowds . The Battle of Waterloo great the Confederation Cup great all big races at Mohawk Great The Extreme night tonight will draw a huge new fan base.

We formed a great partnership with what we thought was a reliable Company to increase gambling revenues and for ten years this partnership worked great now are partner has said that in one year this agreement is void . This agreement was a moneymaker for are government.

I agree with you on number 3 we can never get enough information out to the general public .And it was our House that has let Slots prosper in Ontario and the house should get a piece of that pie . We are doing it for 25 percent of profits i will bet that at any where else that slots run it will be way more of a cut.

Thanks Sonny

August 31, 2012 - 6:14 pmMr.Yamakva Should there have

Should there have been steps taken in the past to improve the racing product, attract new customers and increase race handle? Absolutely! Was the industry lulled into a state of complacency? Absolutely! What are we doing right now? We are fighting to save an industry that is the livelihood of tens of thousands of Ontarians. We are working day and night to educate the public and politicians about the racing industry and its place in Ontario's economy. Horse owners alone cannot be blamed for the current state of affairs. Issues such as new betting products, improved simulcast signals and more cohesive race dates have been points of contention in this industry for years. This industry must deal with regulators, politicians, associations, track owners, participants, customers and the OLG. Changes never come quickly and are not easily achieved. Steps were just starting to be made when the Liberals and OLG pulled the rug out. It's very little surprise that after promises were made by the NDP in March, their failure to even vote on the budget has destroyed any faith horse racing partipants had in Andrea Horwath's word. They stood again yesterday at Queen's Park making promises to support us in our fight to save horse racing. I pray they don't bail again when the next tough decision has to be made.
Would the racing industry have survived if the slots were not attached to racetracks? Would the province of Ontario be the same place it is today without those billions of dollars generated from those same slots?

August 30, 2012 - 5:41 pmGreg Parke... its funny you

Will Yamakva SAID...

Greg Parke...

its funny you want something constructive to come from her mouth, but are the horse people saying anything constructive?

You all cat call the politicians, but have not looked at the way you have let this industry fall to bits.

1) What are you as a horseman, doing to lure new fans?>
2) What are you as a horseman doing to increase gambling revenue?
3) What are you as a horseman doing to explain to the city folk that dont care one way or another, that the money they gamble in one area, should be paid back not to the bettors that play the slots, but the horseman?

I have a question for you people.

If the slots were not attached to the racetracks, do you think your industry would have survived?

I love horse racing, but the comments here, are not helping this, one bit.

August 28, 2012 - 11:31 amWe will see how she and her

Chuck Ibey SAID...

We will see how she and her party vote on Thursday. We will see how many tow the party line. We shall also see how many Liberals have a conscience and vote as well. Hopefully we all show up at Queens Park on Thursday; if there was ever a time to be there it is then to support Lisa Macleod.

Chuck Ibey

August 27, 2012 - 8:16 pmYou had your chance and blew

Greg Parke SAID...

You had your chance and blew it. Push for a referendum in all zones. You think picking and choosing battles looks good on your resume? To put it bluntly Ms. Horwath, you had your chance to show leadership, we all know you are now a Liberal puppet and doing the grandstanding for them. You kept your mouth shut once, do it again until something constructive is ready to come out of it.

Greg Parke

August 27, 2012 - 7:21 pmI agree, too little too late

I agree, too little too late Andrea.

August 27, 2012 - 7:18 pmON MAY 2, 2012, the Liberals

Ralph Sucee SAID...

ON MAY 2, 2012, the Liberals REPLACED Legislation REQUIRING Municipal Referendums with REGULATION 81/12 of the ONTARIO LOTTERY AND GAMING CORPORATION ACT, 1999:

3. In the case of a proposed gaming site to be established at premises in a municipality or on a reserve,

i. the municipal council or the council of the band, as the case may be, seeks public input into the establishment of the proposed gaming site and gives the Corporation, in writing, a description of the steps it took to do so and a summary of the public input it received, and

ii. the municipal council or the council of the band, as the case may be, passes a resolution supporting the establishment of the gaming site in the municipality or on the band’s reserve and gives a copy of the resolution to the Corporation.

The Town of Whitby had local politicos make 'random' phone calls (no-one I know was called) ... and announced in the local newspaper that A MAJORITY OF WHITBY RESIDENTS POLLED WERE 'IN FAVOUR' OF A CASINO!! There was no information given about WHO made the calls ... HOW the issue was presented ... and HOW 'random' numbers were chosen. IT'S A WHITEWASH - HOWARTH KNOWS IT ... AND SHE KNOWS THIS LEGISLATION IS LAW. SHE'S JUST WANTING TO 'LOOK GOOD'; not DO WHAT'S RIGHT. IMHO

August 27, 2012 - 5:05 pmThe next statement Andrea

Georg Leber SAID...

The next statement Andrea Horwath should make is that she is now fed up with the Liberals and next time she gets a chance she and her party will vote with the Conservatives to oust the government. Anything else is background noise. From now on they are 100% discounted as a serious party as they failed to vote on the most important piece of legislation in parliament.

Georg Leber-ICR Racing

August 27, 2012 - 4:59 pmI personally hope that every

I personally hope that every city in Ontario votes against casinos and if it takes a referendum for municipal councils to decide whether or not to have one than Andrea should push for that NOT just for Hamilton,She is a provincial leader....why just Hamilton? If all of Mr Godrey's 29 zones vote aganst casinos maybe the OLG and the provincial government will realize that Slots at Racetracks was a good thing.Each of us should encourage our municipal councils to 'ask the people'.

August 27, 2012 - 4:56 pmMakes a lot of sense to build

Steve Jewitt SAID...

Makes a lot of sense to build another casino 30 miles down the road from 2 that are struggling all ready. And i think this is just grand standing for Andrea to come out with this statement when it most likely would not even be a consideration from our elected official and the people at the OLG to build a new casino in Hamilton. I would like to challenge Andrea to stand up and take a stand on something that might make a difference in this once mighty province taen come out with a statement like this that means nothing as far as I am concerned.


August 27, 2012 - 3:50 pmToo little, too late, Andrea.

Don Patrick SAID...

Too little, too late, Andrea. Nobody really cares what you think after your no-show budget vote.

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