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ORC updates Ontario racing program

April 24, 2013

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Following a review of changes necessary to reflect the current environment in Ontario, adjustments to the Ontario Racing Program (ORP) Implementation Criteria were announced Wednesday.
Since its inception in 2010, the principles of the Ontario Racing Program have applied to all breeds. It was actively implemented first within Standardbred Racing.
Implementation Criteria #1--Changes have been made to reflect all breeds.
Classification of Daily Racing Programs--Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing is now included in the classification of races – Premier, Signature or Grassroots.

Daily Purse Levels--Changes were made to the permitted ranges for the daily purse to reflect the current available provincial purse pool.

Previous levels established by the ORP were based on an aggregate purse account that included revenue from slot commissions. With the cancellation of the Slots-At-Racetracks Program, ongoing purse levels must be adjusted to reflect the available aggregate purse account.

The new levels reflect the projected 2013 wagering commissions. The revised purse ranges were calculated based on analysis of the following:

1. Available purse funds (underpayments and funds held in trust as at March 31, 2013);
2. Purse level requirements from April 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013 based on approved race dates; and
3. Purse level requirements from January 1, 2014 to March 31, 2014, based on projected race dates.

Races per Card
A standard for the minimum permitted number of races per card has been added to the criteria related to required races per card. As the industry moves forward, customer demand will be a key driver and the simulcast product requires a full race card. This addition will also provide some guidance to the industry and to the Director in considering cancellations.

Implementation Criteria #2

Redirection of the Purse
Previously, redistribution of purse was limited to racetracks where the racetracks were commonly owned or operated. The 2013 revision has removed that limitation.

Criteria #2 has been revised to provide notice that purse monies may be re-directed by order of the Director within the aggregate Ontario Purse Pool, as determined by the Ontario Racing Program and under the authority of the Act.

Implementation Criteria #3

Standardbred Minimum Claiming Amounts
The minimum claiming amounts in Standardbred Racing have been revised to reflect the new Ontario purse levels.

Any variances to the Implementation Criteria will be considered through application to the Ontario Racing Program.

Implementation of the Ontario Racing Program has been and will continue to be monitored to ensure the criteria are supporting the goals of the framework. As with all aspects of the Ontario Racing Program (ORP), any new initiative will be reworked or modified if it is not positively affecting or supporting racing in Ontario in the long term.

The racing community, or other interested persons are encouraged to contact the ORP Implementation and Monitoring Group with opinions or details of their experiences with the new changes, both positive and negative. Any person is entitled to make application to the ORP to change or suggest new criteria. (ORC)

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