Ontario Racing Plan Released

The long awaited OMAFRA report was released this afternoon. We now know slots are not part of the ongoing picture, in virtually any fashion, and that (although no numbers are given) some government investment will happen, with return on investment benchmarks, long seen in private business.

  • Racedates should be cut in half, with harness racing bearing the brunt of these cuts, according to the report
  • Purses should be cut by 45%
  • Very little will be "given" to racing. Highlighted by this line, where the panel expresses their dismay with the past "The customer received little attention from stakeholders during consultations"
Included in the report are some recommendations on how to conduct their business:
  • Field size needs to be ten horses per race
  • Purse pooling - long rejected in the Province by horsemen groups - will be implemented
  • Purses will come from betting
  • Marketing and race scheduling will be handled by a central organization
  • New games, bets and possible lotteries or instant racing will be explored
While reading the above recommendations, I know what you are saying. Industry watchers and bettors have been telling the business to do the above for years. Almost all of the marketing and revenue angles were in the Racing Development and Sustainability Plan. Now it is likely mandated as such, with hundreds of millions less for purses, and marketing and promotion.

No hard funding figures for the report were released. That's probably a smart thing to do, as the cost of the programs - and surely the internal industry infighting - cannot be reasonably broached.

1 comment:

kyle said...

Obviously, it would have been better if TOBA had stuck to its guns. It has left the BC hanging by itself. But that said, if these horses can't make it around the track without abruptly stopping to a walk and dumping their jocks...which is the "nightmare" scenario Moran proffers...we really have to consider whether or not we should even be racing. As a handicapper, the ban concerns me not. My assumption is the vast majority of these horses don't really need the drug. The only other assumption one can make is chaos. I'd like to be privy to the play of guys like Moran because I doubt he believes in his assumption strongly enough to back it at the windows.


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