Horse racing in Alberta gets renewed funding from province

The Alberta government announced renewed funding for horse racing in the province on Saturday.

New 10-year agreement replaces old model set to expire this month

The Alberta government announced a new 10-year deal with Horse Racing Alberta on Saturday, ensuring continued funding. (Associated Press)

The Alberta government announced renewed funding for horse racing in the province on Saturday.

The 10-year agreement replaces a previous arrangement that expires this month. Through the agreement, Alberta will continue to send a portion of slot machine revenue to Horse Racing Alberta (HRA), a private, not-for-profit corporation, although that amount will be less than previously.

"Alberta's horse racing and breeding industry is optimistic the Government of Alberta has provided our industry with the means to successfully manage and develop the future of horse racing and breeding in the province," said Horse Racing Alberta chair Rick LeLacheur in a press release. 

Under the previous agreement, HRA received the equivalent of 51.67 per cent of revenue from slot machines at the province's four Racing Entertainment Centres. Under the new agreement, that amount will drop over three years to 40 per cent. 

"Horse racing is an important cultural and sporting industry in this province and this agreement builds a foundation for a long-term sustainable future," said Finance Minister Joe Ceci in a press release. 

"This renewed partnership with HRA supports rural Alberta and prevents loss of jobs and livelihood at a time of economic uncertainty."

The government said it expects the move will directly support 1,600 jobs in the province and result in "significant additional indirect economic benefits" for rural communities and businesses.

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