From Chair Rod Seiling
Ontario Racing Commission
The announcement by the government on February 13, 2012, ending the Slots at Racetracks Program, has created uncertainty for the industry including the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC). As was announced, however, the status quo does remain until March 31, 2013, when the slots program expires.
During this time the ORC will continue to enforce the Rules of Racing, protect the health and welfare of the horse and the racing participants, oversee racing through the Ontario Racing Program and administer industry programs such as the Ontario Sires Stakes and the Quarter Horse Program.
With respect to the Horse Improvement Programs and the Quarter Horse Racing Industry Development Program, there will be no structural changes to the programs for 2012. Stakes races will be run as advertised, purses and rewards will be paid, and development programs, particularly in the area of developing the wagering product, will go ahead. Moving forward, the ORC will be working with each breed group to help them shape their programs for the future. The ORC understands the uncertainty and the need for clarity, and will work with the industry to identify the immediate needs of the breeding community, as well as the future of these important programs. The long term viability of horse racing in Ontario, it goes without saying, is dependent on a reliable supply of quality horses.
The ORC will continue to provide the same high standard of regulation the industry both expects and demands. As to the future, the ORC will, as it has in the past, structure itself to meet the demands that the new Ontario horse racing industry will require of its regulator. The government has made it clear in communications to the ORC that it will require this commission to provide regulatory oversight for horse racing in Ontario.