Will There be Horse Racing in Ontario Next Year?

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Standardbred racing in Ontario could take a huge hit if an agreement between tracks, OLG and the province is not reached by December.

In September, Bernard Tobin, RealAgriculture.com’s Ontario correspondent, explained in this interview that the Slots-at-Racetrack program was ending and ending quickly. As of March 31, 2013, the slot machines would be pulled from Ontario racetracks, and the revenue generated by the slots (and shared with the province) would walk out the door with the machines. The program is dead — there’s no question about that — however what happens now is still up for debate.

Recently, the Ontario provincial government panel released its recommendations for moving forward,. Unfortunately, the recommendations as they stand would slash the world-class Standardbred racing season to a fraction of its current size. The Thoroughbred racing days would also be cut back, though not quite as severely.

In this interview with Bernard, Lyndsey Smith asks where the racing industry goes from here and who needs to sit down at the table to get a race calendar settled for 2013 and beyond. There are options, but as you’ll hear in the interview, the time frame to decide on them is incredibly tight.

(You’ll also note both Bernard Tobin and Lyndsey Smith are wearing their green for national 4-H day)

If you cannot see the embedded video, click here.

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