On Thursday, July 25, during the last sitting of the Ontario Legislature before its summer recess, Nickel Belt New Democratic Party MPP France Gelinas demanded that the provincial government include a key stipulation in the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp.’s Request for Proposals for gaming companies that could potentially operate in the northern Ontario region.
According to an article by The Sudbury Star, Gelinas told the Legislature that she wants the RFP for the northern Ontario region, which includes Sudbury Downs, to require potential operators to list their history of horse racing expertise in their proposals.
Earlier this spring, the ORC announced that added a requirement for horse racing expertise in its upcoming Requests for Proposals for gaming site operators throughout Ontario. The province’s gaming arm has yet to issue RFPs for northern Ontario.
In late May, officials with Sudbury Downs announced that the track could not reach a deal with the province and thus will not hold live harness racing in 2014.
“The question is simple,” Gelinas said Thursday, “Will the Premier give northern Ontario the same deal it gave southern Ontario and make sure the casino operators in Sudbury include horse racing?”
Jeff Leal, Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture and Food, who recently took over the portfoliofrom Premier Wynne, responded to Gelinas by saying, in part, that, the Ontario Government will “take a second look at Sudbury Downs in terms of the 2015 racing season.”
(With files from The Sudbury Star)