The Director of the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) has considered and approved an application for variance from Great Canadian Gaming Corporation (GCGC) that will result in the cancellation of the eight race dates approved for Georgian Downs in the month of September 2013.
Through a Notice to the Industry issued April 12, 2013, followed by Reasons for Decision issued April 29, the Director approved the 2013 Ontario Race Dates for May to December, based on the needs of the Ontario Racing Program (ORP) while recognizing the racetracks negotiations with Government.
In reaching those race decisions in April, the principles of the ORP were applied to balance the interests of the various components including the interest of the customer and horse supply.
GCGC made application to race 25 days of Grassroots racing to be conducted June through August. In his decision, the Director varied the application made by GCGC for Georgian Downs approving 33 Signature race dates over the months of June through September.
The reasons for the Director's decision to vary GCGC's application were addressed in the April 29 release.
In the absence of the Director's variance, the decline in Signature level racing in the central Ontario would be from ten race dates per week in September 2012 to two race dates per week in September 2013. This drop occurs at a time when horse supply and demand for racing opportunities is seasonally high and the summer-season tracks have closed thereby limiting customer options.
GCGC has remained constant that its negotiated funding arrangement reflects its application for variance and that Georgian Downs is not in a financial position to offer more race days than have been contracted.
While eliminating dates at Georgian in September is contrary to several tenets of the ORP, the Director respects the negotiated arrangement, and therefore cancels the eight race dates in September for Georgian Downs. The Director has given notice that this approval is limited to 2013 and may be reconsidered for future years as the ORP evolves.
The Director notes that the deficiency of Signature race dates in central Ontario for September created by this decision should equally create a market opportunity for another racetrack operator.
Please be advised that any aggrieved party has the right to appeal the Director's decision to the Commission. (ORC)