There is no mention how the cancellation of the Slots at Racetrack program, which is to end March 2013, will impact the lives of the horses utilized by the Standardbred and Thoroughbred racing industry. However, talk of breeders euthanizing foals, and owners considering sending a number of their horses to slaughter, is already being reported.
The Globe and Mail reports:
- Sue Leslie, president of the Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association, is incensed by Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan’s comment that the provincial government’s Slots at Racetrack program took “money that should go to Ontario schools and hospitals and gave it to . . . wealthy people.”
The government recently announced termination of a 14-year-old agreement with 17 Ontario tracks that directs about $345-million a year to the harness and thoroughbred industries. The deal – designed originally to compensate tracks for lost wagering revenue because of the installation of slot machines – is to end in March of 2013, but three tracks have already been closed down.
Currently, 75 per cent of the slots revenue from the tracks goes to the provincial government; 5 per cent to the municipality where the machines are located, and 20 per cent to the horse-racing industry. Of the industry’s 20 per cent, about half goes to the tracks and half to the breeders, primarily through purses.
On Friday, Leslie said the slots program actually contributes $1-billion annually to the government, and argued that the $345-million payment to the industry comes from commissions earned on horse wagering and slots, and from fees paid by breeders to race their horses, rather than from tax dollars.
On Thursday, American equine breeder Joe Thomson had compared the Ontario government’s cancellation of the Slots at Racetracks program to a famously failed Ponzi scheme. Continue reading >>
Fears are that the closure of racetracks will lead to the wholesale slaughter of racehorses. Breeders are already reportedly euthanizing foals.
— Read more at “Foals euthanized in Canada as provincial funding of harness racing ends“, Tuesday’s Horse.
What impact do slots and other extended gambling opportunities at US racetracks have on horseracing?
— Read “Help, Don’t Enrich Racing Industry“, The Intelligencer.