How Does Ontario Save Horseracing?

Several track agreements are in place. Strandardbred racing cards are still a fraction of what they were last year.

Horseracing in North America is facing tough times, a result of years of decreased attendance and betting. In Canada, tightening of government budgets in at least three provinces, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, has put heavy pressure on tracks to either evolve, find new business partners or face extinction. Ontario is far and away the largest horseracing province in the country, and last year’s announced elimination of the Slots at Racetrack Program sent shock waves through a largely rural workforce of roughly 60, 000.

Then, last week, agriculture minister and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, stood up and announced that the very organization that had cast horseracing aside (Ontario Lotteries and Gaming, or OLG) was to take the sport back under its wing and make it work.

RealAgriculture editor Lyndsey Smith and Ontario correspondent Bernard Tobin spoke yesterday about the state of the industry, but, most importantly, what has to happen now to not just save horseracing but also to grow it and re-invigorate the sport.

In this video, Bern references a game option in Sweden called the V75. See more on that here. Also, for those interested in adding their thoughts on marketing ideas for the industry, please contact Dennis Mills at

If you cannot see the embedded video, click here.

One thought on “How Does Ontario Save Horseracing?

  1. Nice video, but I have to disagree about OLG being an “agency” of the government. Currently, it seems as though OLG is running this province and NOT the Fiberals. Wynne only made the decision to put horse racing back under OLG to save face and make herself look good. It still seems like they don’t want any competition for their idiotic casinos. The horse industry need to change, yes, but instead of throwing the industry in the garbage as they have done, a plan of action for change could have started in discussion without this huge error in judgement. It’s not just better betting products we need, we are in dire need of marketing the horse industry and racing, period.

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