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Ontario announces more planning by panel

May 14, 2013

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On Monday, May 13, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food announced that its horse-racing transitional panel will work with industry partners, the Ontario Ministry of Finance and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. on integrating horse racing into the province's gaming strategy to offer new gaming products and generate additional revenue.

A release issued by OMAFRA states that a draft plan for consultation is due in June 2013, with a final plan to be completed by October 2013.

The release states now that transitional funding negotiations with track operators are 'substantially' complete, the province has asked the panel for a plan that sets a clear path forward on: modernizing the governance and regulation of the horse racing industry; growing the fan base and providing more wagering options; providing ongoing government support; and ensuring animal welfare.

"Significant strides have been made over the past months to ensure there is horse racing in Ontario for this year and beyond," Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel member John Snobelen was quoted as saying. "The panel looks forward to continuing our work with the government and the horse racing industry to ensure a sustainable future for the industry.”

The release also contains a quote from Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, who is also the province's Minister of Agriculture and Food.

"I know how important this industry is to communities across Ontario and I am confident that the expertise and guidance of this panel will help the horse racing industry move toward a bright, sustainable future,” Wynne was quoted as saying.

A report by the Ottawa Citizen has quoted Wynne as saying that she is keen on getting the Ontario horse-racing industry integrated into the OLG modernization plan, but that it has not been an easy process.

The Ottawa Citizen report has quoted Wynne as saying, "I'm very keen on the horse racing component being integrated into the overall gaming strategy, and that's been a struggle.”

To view copies of the OMAFRA release in both English and French, please click the corresponding link which appears below. (Standardbred Canada)


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