An Ontario PC Government will immediately begin work to bring back the Slots at Racetracks Program

Published on June 01, 2018

For Immediate Release

June 1, 2018

An Ontario PC Government will immediately begin work to bring back the Slots at Racetracks Program

Much-needed support for Hiawatha Horse Park

 

Today, Bob Bailey announced that an Ontario PC government will immediately begin work to bring back the Slots-at-Racetracks Program (SARP), benefitting the Hiawatha Horse Park.

 

“Without warning, Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals killed the Slots-at-Racetrack Program,
destroying the horse racing industry. Andrea Horwath and the NDP sat on their hands and allowed this to happen,” said Bob Bailey. “An Ontario PC government is going to work to bring this program back, and help horse racing in Sarnia-Lambton thrive and grow.”

 

In 2012, the minority Liberal Government rammed their budget through the Legislature - which included slashing SARP. Rather than voting against the budget, and stopping the gutting of the horse racing industry, the NDP industry abstained and propped up the government.

 

“While the Ontario PCs stood up for the horse racing industry, and voted against this cut, Andrea Horwath and the NDP chose to prop up the Liberals. They could have stopped this,” added Bob Bailey. 

 

The government is currently under a civil lawsuit regarding their changes to the horse racing
industry. Court documents reveal the government anticipated the changes would lead to “23,000 job losses and 27,000 dead horses,” and that part of the rationale behind the decision was to wedge the PCs and NDP in a by-election.

 

The Ontario PCs will launch a working group to consult with the horse racing community and gaming proponents to bring slots back to racetracks as quickly possible.

 

“Only the Ontario PCs are committed to bringing this important program back. The NDP are
waffling and refusing to commit.”

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE COURT DOCUMENTS:

 

  • “We met with Mckinsey, hired by finance. They confirmed under their wildly optimistic best case scenario (ie no collapse of the industry), we are look at 13,000 job losses and 16,000 euthanized horses between sep 4 and dec 31. Collapse (which we think is what will actually happen) is 23,000 job losses and 27,000 dead horses. The lawsuits coming our way will add up to $500 million and you will be lucky to settle for $250 million.” [sic]  – John Wilkinson, former Liberal Cabinet Minister

 

  • “The only thing that keeps me going is the thought that I might still be here when the entire Slots at Racetracks program is either slashed brutally, or purse pooling and yearly ‘grants’ based on yearly applications gets rid of the  notion that horsemen have of slot money being ‘their’ money.” – Policy Advisor, Gaming Policy Branch, Ministry of Finance