OLG agreement reached for Flamboro Downs

Slots will continue to operate but horse racing still undetermined.
The Liberals shocked the harnes racing sector last year when they cancelled the $345 million a year share of slot machine revenues that went to tracks, prompting several tracks to close or announce plans to close. (Associated Press File Photo)

A deal has been reached between Flamboro Downs and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation according to a release made Saturday night.

Slots will continue to operate at Flamboro Downs racetrack under the new contract which replaces the current agreement set to expire at the end of the month. The terms of the lease agreement is subject to approval by the Ontario Ministry of Finance. 

Meanwhile, the continuation of horse racing at the track is yet to be determined as transition funding has not yet been secured from the province.

Great Canadian Gaming Corporation made the announcement Saturday night, following an announcement from Premier Kathleen Wynne on Friday that four more tracks had signed on to a three-year transition funding agreement.

So far, racetracks in Clinton, Hanover, London, Elora, Campbellville and Toronto have agreed to the transition funding, but Great Canadian Gaming's tracks in Flamborough and Barrie have yet to sign on. However, Saturday's announcement stated the company has "had discussions" with the province.

Rod N. Baker, Great Canadian's CEO, said they "look forward to continuing our discussions with the Ontario government and the (horse racing industry transition) panel with a view to finalizing arrangements and funding for horse racing to be able to continue at Flamboro Downs and Georgian Downs."

Many local racehorse owners cited the ending of slots as a deathblow to their industry. Until a decision is made on whether to sign on for transitional funding, it's unclear whether the continued slot program at Flamboro Downs will have much effect.