WEG's Eaves says tracks make $1.5 billion for ONT
February 22, 2012
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On Wednesday morning (Feb. 22), as the horse racing community was poised to rally at a park in downtown Toronto, Ont., to voice opposition to a government plan to take money away from the province's racing program, Woodbine CEO Nick Eaves delivered some powerful data in a story published in Toronto's Globe And Mail.
Eaves says if the government is looking to find value for money in Ontario programs, then the deal between racing and the government delivers it in spades. He noted that Woodbine and Mohawk racetracks have spent "significant” amounts of money to create the slots parlors at the two tracks, from which the government gleans $1.5-billion a year. On the other hand, the government finances 100 percent of the costs of its resort casinos (an estimated $3-billion to build). Those casinos show a $45-million loss in the last available annual report in 2009-10.
Slots at the Woodbine and Mohawk tracks alone have returned double the money to the government than do the resort casinos, Eaves said. The government share of revenues from track slots has increased by 27 percent in the past decade, said a spokesperson for the Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association.
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