Sue Leslie, President of the Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association (OHRIA), issued the following statement regarding the departure Paul Godfrey and the OLG Board of Directors:
“Ontario’s horse racing and breeding industry has been reeling since March 2012 when the Government of Ontario announced the cancellation of the Slots at Racetracks Program. Our industry’s concerns were compounded by what we perceived to be process failures on the part of the OLG Board to ensure our industry had a role to play in their modernization plan.
Under Premier Wynne, our industry has seen the start of a number of positive steps, including the government’s announcement that horse racing will become an integrated partner in the government’s future gaming strategy.
We have welcomed these changes, and with the departure of the OLG board that designed the province’s modernization strategy, we believe there is a real opportunity for Premier Wynne to develop a new strategy that engages Ontario’s horse racing and breeding sector, brings communities into the decision making process, and creates an approach to gaming modernization that is more palatable to everyone.
The horse racing industry believes that Premier Wynne has an opportunity to formally pause the OLG’s current modernization process, including the RFPQs underway in Sudbury, Peterborough and Ottawa, to ensure the OLG does not make any decisions regarding gaming zones where racetracks currently exist.
The horse racing and breeding industry is ready to work with the Premier to develop a program that substantially increases government revenues and ensures the sustainability of horse racing and breeding in Ontario.”
Sue Leslie had the opportunity to meet personally with Premier Wynne at the end of April to discuss Ontario’s horse racing and breeding sector, “Premier Wynne’s actions indicate that she will continue to make good on the commitments she made during that meeting to the horse racing and breeding industry in Ontario.”