TORONTO, June 21, 2012 /CNW/ - Citing the complete devastation of the
Quebec horse racing and breeding industry, members of the Ontario horse
racing industry and the chair of the Quebec Jockey Club, warn the
Ontario government that the future is bleak for Ontario's horse racing
and breeding industry.
"The Government of Ontario should study the complete and utter
devastation of the Quebec horse racing industry before they move
forward with their ill-conceived plans to cancel the Slots at Racetrack
Program", said Anna Meyers, President Standardbred Breeders of Ontario
Association. "Our colleagues in Quebec saw an 80% job loss since the
horse racing industry was shut down in 2010. Comparatively speaking,
for Ontario this would mean over 27,000 direct industry jobs lost".
In Quebec, horsepeople who were able to secure similar jobs in other
jurisdictions removed valuable tax dollars and economic spinoff from
the province. Many however, remain unemployed. In Ontario, the horse
racing industry generates 60,000 jobs and provides the province with
$261 million in direct taxes. With over $2 billion in annual
expenditures the industry's combined contribution to the GDP is $4.5
All of this revenue is put at risk with the cancellation of the Slots at
The Quebec experience provides a gloomy future for Ontario's industry.
The cancellation of the Slots at Racetrack Program is ending an
extremely successful private/public partnership in the name of
modernizing the OLG operations. The racetracks as the private partner
have invested capital and provided their land, facilities,
infrastructure and parking making this program the most profitable of
the OLG's land based gaming venues. This program has added $14.4
billion to the provincial treasury since its inception in 1999.
"I urge decision makers to reconsider this flawed plan to end the Slots
at Racetrack Program and find the right course for all Ontario
citizens," said Tony Infilise, Chair of the Quebec Jockey Club. "It
takes great leaders and courage to recognize that an error has been
made, and for the good of Ontario, recognize that it needs to be
changed. Looking at the facts and considerations in a non-partisan
manner will lead to the right course of action."
The Quebec Jockey Club is a recently formed association of horsemen who
are attempting to revive horse racing and breeding in Quebec.
SOURCE Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association
For further information:
Anna Meyers, President
Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association