Essex NDP MPP Taras Natyshak says the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation's restructuring plans threaten both the horseracing industry in the Windsor-Essex area, and the long-term viability of casino operations in Windsor.

"The Windsor Casino has seen increased competition from across the border; and under [Premier Kathleen] Wynne’s plan, the casino will face competition from other new casinos across Ontario," Natyshak said in a news release. "Part of the Wynne government’s plan for more casinos in Ontario and for privatizing our lotteries and casinos, is [its] plan to remove slots from racetracks."

In addition to increasing competition from across the border, and now the possibility of more casinos in Ontario, Natyshak said Windsor's municipal revenues from casino operations have been hit hard by reassessments from the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation.

"You are looking at a building that has been devalued to the tune of $40 million since the last assessment in 2008," Natyshak said. "That means less revenue for Windsor."

Natyshak has introduced a motion at Queen’s Park calling for the continuation of the Slots at Racetracks Program, and calling for referendums on casino construction in any community being considered for new casino developments.

"This motion goes a long way towards addressing the serious missteps being made in the ‘modernization’ of the OLG and the horseracing industry," said Natyshak. "The vote was passed by a majority of MPPs at Queen’s Park. Now it’s up to the people of Ontario to make their voices heard by contacting the Premier of Ontario and their local MPP to make sure the government does the right thing."