Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) on Wednesday confirmed that it has reached an agreement in principle with the Province which ensures the continuation of live horse racing at Woodbine and Mohawk Racetracks for the next two years.
"This long-awaited agreement offers stability while WEG and our partners in horse racing work with government towards a long-term sustainability solution," said Jim Lawson, chairman of the Board of Directors of WEG. "It's clear to us that this is only a short-term fix, and sustainability can only be achieved by the integration of horse racing into the province's gaming strategy. As the largest operator of horse racing in Canada, WEG is committed to working with the government to achieve this critical outcome."
Lawson noted that horse racing has a long and important history in Ontario, and that in recent years the industry has established a business model--and a level of racing excellence--recognized the world over. "Our challenge is to now build a new, sustainable model for horse racing in Ontario that continues to set the standard internationally. I'm confident that working with our partners in industry and government, we can achieve that goal. Our industry deserves nothing less."
In addition, the Ontario Racing Commission announced that it will now be reporting to the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), effective immediately. The announcement of the ministry change was included in a news release which indicated that an agreement in principle has been made between the Government of Ontario and Woodbine Entertainment Group. http://www.ontarioracingcommission.com/whatsnew.aspx?id=889
WEG will hold a news conference on Thursday, Jan. 24 at 10 a.m. responding to the recent agreement in principle with the Province, including details on a major announcement regarding the future of racing at Woodbine and Mohawk Racetracks.
At the press conference with be Lawson and Nick Eaves, president and CEO of WEG. It will take place at the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, Woodbine Racetrack, 555 Rexdale Blvd, Toronto. (WEG)