Thursday, January 24, 2013

Power Play

If you ever needed a reminder that racing and politics are inexorably linked, the last twenty-four hours did it.

In Ontario, the new regulator (OMAFRA) announced they struck a deal with Woodbine to house slot machines for at least two years. Presumably the deal involves rent and transition funding.

In addition, OLG, the lottery arm of government, announced they reached a deal with ten racetracks to house slot machines. One would think these are rent-only deals.

Woodbine has called a press conference for 10AM, so keep your eyes out for that.

In New York State, "have power, will legislate, even for the sake of legislating" seems to be the mantra. Liz O'Connell looked at how powerful governments are there yesterday in the Huffington Post. 

There are four bills of interest to horse racing being pushed:
  • One which bans lasix
  • One which allows tracks to offer rebates to customers
  • One which looks to up the minimum gambling age at racetracks to 21
  • One which looks at installing VLT's in an OTB
Horse racing has a long, rich history. Unfortunately that history also includes a whole lot of regulation.  That continues in most states or provinces today; maybe more than ever.

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