By Bryan Bossin
(TORONTO, ON) – Ontario has released a five-year plan for a sustainable horse racing industry that will provide an opportunity for horse racing to continue in Windsor-Essex. Funding will be tied to accountability and transparency measures and will provide a positive return on the investment of public funds. Racetracks will need to provide business cases to receive funding.
“By working together with our industry partners, we have charted a course for sustainable horse racing in Windsor-Essex,” said Windsor West MPP Teresa Piruzza. “With a strong business plan in place, I’m confident that Lakeshore Horse Racing Association will be able to run competitive and exciting races for years to come.”
The Horse Racing Partnership Plan is based on the final Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel report. It will strengthen the industry and support future growth.
- Providing up to $400 million over five years to sustain a wide range of racing opportunities across the province that are supported by strong business plans
- Integrating horse racing with Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) modernization plan, which includes researching potential horse-themed lottery products and leveraging the corporation’s business, marketing and responsible gambling expertise within the horse racing industry
- Restructuring the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) into two divisions — one that will continue its existing regulatory functions and a separate division that will distribute funding and work with the OLG on industry development to grow the racing fan base.
“Our new Horse Racing Partnership plan recognizes and celebrates the long history of horse racing in rural Ontario,” said Jeff Leal, Minister of Rural Affairs. “The tracks in this area support good jobs and are a focal point for entertainment and recreation, and I’m glad we’re working together to ensure the future of live racing.”
The $400 million in funding will support world class racing through a wide range of activities and programs, including branding and marketing, responsible gambling, the Horse Improvement Program, animal welfare, and business planning.