06/23/2008 11:00PM

Ontario panel seeks new group


A government horse racing industry review panel in Ontario issued its recommendations Tuesday, including the creation of a new industry association and a gaming panel whose functions would include developing a new strategy to maximize slot-machine revenue and overseeing a new division of that money to the horse racing and breeding industries.

The 80-page report, commissioned by the province last July, was compiled by a three-member panel of a former Ontario Racing Commission chairman, Stanley Sadinsky; a former member of parliament, Jane Stewart; and William McDonnell, former director of the Ontario Racing Commission.

The government will study the report and consult with various industry parties before moving toward implementing any changes.

The proposed new industry association, Horse Racing Ontario, would have a board of directors comprising industry members, plus three government appointees and one representative of the Quarter Horse industry. The group would take over the economic regulation of the industry, develop a marketing program, and run programs such as the one that supports the breeding sector.

The gaming panel would implement a new slot-revenue formula that would increase the percentage that the racetracks and purse accounts would receive. Some slot revenue would be allocated to fund the proposed new panel and support the breeding and sale of Ontario-breds.