08/16/2013 3:31PM

Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association pushes for expanded gaming at tracks

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario – The Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association says the best way for the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation to increase gaming revenue is to continue using Ontario’s racetracks for enhanced gaming opportunities.

The Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association released a 21-page report Friday in response to the Ontario Racing Industry Panel’s interim report on the future of horse racing in Ontario.

The panel, appointed by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, released its interim report in June and its final report is due in October.

The Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association notes that one way to enhance revenues would be by developing both the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s and racing’s distribution networks through methods such as the introduction of racing-related lotteries and games that would directly benefit the industry.

The panel had proposed that the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation take over management of offtrack parimutuel wagering, a move that the Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association strongly opposes.

The Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association response also addresses issues including the panel’s recommendation for a new governing body for Ontario horse racing, the proposed funding model that would tie government support to commissions earned on Ontario live racing, and timelines for restructured industry revenue streams.

The Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association believes it has come up with a more workable approach to move the industry forward.

Ontario horse racing suffered a financial blow when the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation ceased its slots-at-racetracks program, which had been a major source of funding, last March 31.

The only revenue that racetracks now receive from onsite slots operations is through leasing arrangements.

The Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association notes that the decision has led to job losses, a reduction in ownership investment, and reductions in the breeding sector.

The complete report can be accessed at ohria.com.