October 16, 2015 - The horse racing industry in Ontario is being asked to provide input on a long-term financial model with respect to the ongoing integration and modernization of gaming in Ontario.
That news comes from a letter addressed to Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association (OHRIA) President Sue Leslie on Thursday (October 15) by Stephen Rigby, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG).
Rigby’s letter notes that OLG is “developing a co-branding marketing strategy” that involves the launch of “horse-themed products through our Lottery and Internet business channels.” He went on to state that the next area of focus for horse racing’s integration within the province’s gaming strategy is developing “a financial model to provide a long-term funding framework,” exploring options and avenues “that help create economic confidence in a transparent and accountable way, beyond 2019.”
Rigby noted that he has discussed this focus with Cal Bricker, OLG’s Senior Vice President of Horse Racing, and has asked him to lead “a collaborative discussion on this subject with [OHRIA's] help, and members of the industry.”
The full text of the letter appears below.
Dear Ms. Leslie,
As you know, over the past eight months, the government, OLG and OHRIA have been working closely on key elements of horse racing integration.
All parties are engaged in a dialogue with the industry on areas of mutual interest. Through these discussions, we have accomplished a great deal. We are defining how horse racing fits into the modernization framework and laying a foundation for the industry’s success.
Today, OLG has a new horse racing division, led by a new Senior Vice President. We are developing a co-branding marketing strategy and preparing to launch horse-themed products through our Lottery and Internet business channels. We have also signed leases with almost all racetracks in Ontario.
In addition, the regulatory merger of the Ontario Racing Commission and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario is moving forward and the government’s five-year Horse Racing Partnership Plan continues to support the industry.
The next area of focus is developing a financial model to provide a long-term funding framework. This includes exploring options that help create economic confidence in a transparent and accountable way, beyond 2019.
The government has asked OLG to provide recommendations on this topic by the end of the year.
We would like your ongoing input. I have asked Cal Bricker, OLG’s Senior Vice President of Horse Racing to lead a collaborative discussion on this subject with your help, and members of the industry.
As President of OHRIA, I would ask that you circulate this letter to your Board of Directors and membership. Horse racing is vital to Ontario’s rural communities and is an important part of our province’s rich heritage. Our ongoing collaboration will help create a sustainable industry in Ontario for generations to come.
We look forward to working with you and the broader industry on this matter.
President and Chief Executive Officer