Monday, April 16, 2012

Strategic Problems & Bad Policy

I have always felt the way the Slots at Racetracks directive was handed down last month was bad policy. "Cold turkey" is something we eat, not something we do with a multi-billion dollar program.

There's one thing about bad policy, in my opinion. If you ask a simple question about the core of it, you don't get an answer.

The OLG CEO was asked a simple question:
  • In an interview last week, OLG President and CEO Rod Phillips was asked why the Ontario government ended the slots-at-racetrack program with a drop-dead date of March 2013 instead of working with the industry to discuss a possible phase-out or percentage reduction. Phillips' reply: “I don’t have an answer.”
I have felt this was a proper way to implement this policy if the government was going to get rid of racing and slots, come hell or high water: Phase it out over several years, so the industry could prepare itself, sock some cash away; do whatever they want to soften the blow and become self-sustaining.

I was dismayed somewhat when racings leadership wanted to discuss "subsidy versus partnership" or blockades, or protests.I think from day one we should've been asking for a phase out and how to implement that phase out/reduction fairly.

When the OLG CEO cannot answer a simple question about fairness, it's shows weakness. Horse racing, in my opinion, should completely shift their strategy and try and exploit that weakness.

1 comment:

Cangamble said...

The problem was that the option to phase out was not on the table. The Liberal government pulled the rug right from under the Ontario racing industries feet.
It is kind of like coming to your home and finding the government changed the locks. The reaction by the horse racing industry was totally understandable in light of the circumstances.