05/06/2013 5:18PM

Assiniboia Downs funding restored after court victory

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The Manitoba Jockey Club, in a decision released Monday afternoon, has won its case against the province of Manitoba and will not have its budget slashed for the 2013 meeting.

"We are very pleased to see that the court agreed with our argument," said Darren Dunn, chief executive officer of Assiniboia Downs. "There is more work to be done, but today is a good day for horse racing in Manitoba."

In the province’s recent budget, Manitoba finance minister Stan Struthers had stated that the Manitoba Jockey Club, which owns and operates Assiniboia Downs, would no longer receive $5 million in government funding that the racetrack annually generates through slot-machine revenue on its property and a rebate on parimutuel taxes.

Assiniboia’s annual budget is approximately $9.5 million.

The MJC had obtained a judicial review concerning the actions of the provincial government and the Red River Exhibition Association, which owns the ground surrounding the Assiniboia Downs property.

The MJC alleged that the Red River Group, with the aid of the province, was attempting to force Assiniboia Downs into bankruptcy in an effort to purchase the property and take over the racetrack operation.