December 20, 2014

Ontarians Favour Maintaining Exisiting Slots At Racetracks Program, Forum Poll shows

Nearly three-quarters of Ontarians say they approve of the ‘Slots at the Racetrack” program (74%), and two thirds approve of the specific terms of the deal OLG has with Ontario’s horse racing tracks (61%), according to a new survey conducted by Forum Research on behalf of the Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association.

The vast majority say it is important that the 60,000 jobs connected to Ontario’s racing and breeding industry stay in the province (84%), and close to one third say it is “extremely important” (31%).

Most feel that the 20% of slot revenues the tracks receive is the right percentage (43%), although many think it is too low (30%).

Three-quarters of Ontarians (77%) say it is important that the jobs and revenues created by ‘Slots at the Racetrack’ be maintained, and close to one quarter say it is “extremely important” (22%)

The majority do not approve of the provincial government building more casinos (58%) and a similar proportion disapprove of a casino being built in their town (57%).

One half approve of gaming tables at racetracks (50%), and the largest group thinks the best plan for OLG is to leave slots at the racetracks and refrain from building new resort casinos. Only a small minority opt for removing slots from racetracks, either to new casinos (8%) or to purpose built slot facilities (5%).

When asked where slots should ideally be located, two thirds say “at racetracks, where they are now” (62%).

“It is clear Ontarians understand the importance of Ontario’s horse racing and breeding association and that they want their government to act to protect this industry,” said Sue Leslie, President of OHRIA. “We hope the government will commit to honouring the existing contracts through 2015 and developing a sustainable way forward for the industry so that we can continue generating more than $1.1 billion dollars per year for healthcare.”

This poll was conducted by Forum Research  for OHRIA between March 17 and March 22, 2012, on a sample of 1006 randomly selected respondents. Interviews were conducted by telephone using an RDD sample. The margin of error for a sample this size is plus or minus 3%, 19 times out of 20.