Toronto, ON --- Woodbine Entertainment Group President and CEO Nick Eaves released the following statement in response to Premier Kathleen Wynne’s announcement today that her new government intends to integrate horse racing with the provincial gaming strategy to ensure future revenue streams for racetracks:
“WEG is very pleased that Premier Wynne has personally intervened to ensure that Ontario’s horse racing and breeding industry will have a sustainable future.
“The uncertainty of the last 12 months has been chaotic for our industry and has adversely impacted small businesses and communities across the entire province. The new Premier clearly understands the critical importance of a vibrant horse racing and breeding industry to the province’s economy. Her commitment to ensuring its sustainable future by reintegrating it with the province's gaming strategy is meaningful and a welcome policy change at WEG.
“Woodbine and Mohawk racetracks, which WEG operates, have in reality been vital elements of the Province’s gaming strategy for the past 14 years. We look forward to continuing that partnership with the Province and its agency, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, to maximize revenue streams for both our industry and for the Province.
“WEG is proud to support Ontario's horse racing and breeding industry, which is a significant contributor to the economic vitality of rural and urban Ontario. WEG’s business activities generate more than 7,500 jobs in its markets, and as the provider of the leading venues for horse racing in Ontario, WEG supports thousands more direct and indirect full-time jobs across the province and provides a total annual economic contribution in excess of $2 billion, including more than $780 million to the agricultural sector.
“A strengthened partnership between the Province and our industry will only enhance this contribution. WEG believes that a necessary element of building upon this partnership will be pursuing expanded gaming operations at Woodbine and Mohawk racetracks, operated by WEG.”