10/09/2010 1:19PM

Government pledges to provide funds to help Hastings


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Rich Coleman, the Minister of Housing and Social Development who is responsible for horse racing in British Columbia, said there would be government help forthcoming to the beleaguered horse racing industry.

Coleman didn’t give the exact number in terms of dollars but he did say it would be substantial. Currently, slot revenue to the horse racing industry comes from slots at Hastings and Fraser Downs, the local Standardbred track.

“We budgeted for $7.3 million in slot revenue to the horse racing industry this year but it will be more like $6.2 million,” said Coleman. “What we want to do is stabilize the industry with a guaranteed amount of money each year. We’re going to come up with a number that is substantially higher. Once that happens it is up to the horse racing industry to make it succeed.”

Coleman made it clear that the money would be used to help both the Thoroughbred and Standardbred sectors. He also said the Premier of the province, Gordon Campbell, was on board and that the new policy would likely be implemented soon.

“We have done all the work so I don’t think it will be too long before it is finalized,” he said.

The money is to be used to help increase purses at Hastings and Fraser Downs.