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Oct 18, 2013

Five-year plan revealed for Ontario racing


Toronto, ON ( - The government of Ontario revealed a five- year plan Friday for the horse racing industry in the province. The plan is based on the final report from the Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel.

The plan is to be implemented April 1, 2014 and cover the period ending March 31, 2019.

A major part of the plan is a provision of up to $400 million during the five years as a way of continuing the horse racing industry in Ontario.

"We know how important the horse racing industry is to communities all across Ontario," stated Kathleen Wynne, Premier and Minister of Agriculture and Food. "That's why our government has worked with industry and community representatives to develop a five-year plan that will build on the great traditions of horse racing in this province and attract a new generation of fans to the sport."

The Ontario Racing Commission will be divided into two divisions, one that will continue to serve as the regulatory agency and another, "Ontario Racing Live," that will distribute the funds provided.

"Ontario Racing Live" will also work with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) to increase fan interest in the sport and "researching potential horse-themed lottery products and leveraging the corporation's business, marketing and responsible gambling expertise within the horse racing industry."

"Integrating horse racing with OLG's modernization will help create a more sustainable industry going forward," said Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance. "OLG's experience in business, marketing and responsible gaming will provide additional benefits to the racing industry."

Panel member Elmer Buchanan will replace the retiring Rod Seiling as chair of the Ontario Racing Commission.

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