OLG Meets With Racing
Published: May 7, 2012 11:26 am ET
Last Comment: May 9, 2012 4:21 pm ET | 54 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments
The Ontario Harness Horse Association (OHHA), which represents the majority of Standardbred horsepeople in Ontario, met with Mr. Paul Godfrey, Chair of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG), and Ms. Beth Webster, Senior VP Marketing, Communications and Stakeholder Relations, on May 2 to discuss the Liberal Government's policy announcement to end the slots-at-racetracks program. President Ken Hardy, General Manager Brian Tropea, and past President Jim Whelan attended the meeting on behalf of OHHA.
The OHHA representatives appreciated the frankness and unambiguous response provided by the OLG Chair. While it is not the message our members needed to hear, it was very clear that the mandate does not include any partnership or revenue sharing agreement for racing in the province of Ontario. Racetracks will not receive any percentage of revenue generated by slots that are left at identified tracks. OHHA was not informed which racetracks would keep slot machines. Regardless, those that do will simply receive a payment from the OLG to lease the space where the slot machines are located at the racetrack. This payment will be consistent with local retail space payments. In other words, it is a straight landlord-tenant relationship. To be clear, there is no revenue sharing for racetracks and no money from gaming for purses. If - and this must be emphasized - racetracks continue to offer racing it will be with monies generated outside of gaming.
OHHA is currently developing a schedule of information meetings for its members to be held within the next couple of weeks. The dates, locations and times of those meetings will be released as they become available. OHHA believes it is important that the membership is current with the latest information.