04/03/2013 3:06PM

Manitoba Jockey Club sues province, requests formal probe


The owner of Assiniboia Downs, the Manitoba Jockey Club, is suing the provincial government, and a judicial review is scheduled to begin April 26.

The province contributes as much as $10 million annually to Assiniboia Downs, and the MJC claims the province could withdraw as much as 50 percent of those subsidies in its April 16 budget and remove the 140 video lottery terminals from the racetrack. Such a move would bankrupt the MJC and pave the way for a takeover by the Red River Exhibition Association, which is looking to take over the racetrack property, valued at $70 million.

Assiniboia Downs is located on 130 acres within the grounds of the Red River Exhibition Association.

The MJC also has filed a formal complaint with the Attorney General of Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police seeking an investigation into the actions of several individuals, including Stan Struthers, Manitoba’s minister of finance, and Garth Rogerson, chief executive officer of the Red River Exhibition Association.

Meanwhile, the MJC has said it had been working on a deal with a First Nations group that would include the building of a hotel and conference center on the Assiniboia site and enhance VLT revenues.

Assiniboia Downs is located in Winnipeg and is the sole venue for Thoroughbred horse racing in Manitoba. The Assiniboia Downs meeting is scheduled to begin May 5.