Horse Racing New Brunswick gets injunction to resume operations
Organization was locked out of business office, Winner's Lounge early Tuesday in lease dispute
Horse Racing New Brunswick is being allowed to return to the premises on the Fredericton Exhibition grounds and resume operations, including operation of Winners Lounge and its 25 video-lottery terminals.
The organization was granted an injunction Friday that restrains Fredericton Exhibition Ltd. from the premises and allows it to continue operations.
Fredericton Exhibition Ltd. is the owner of the property and changed the locks on Winners Lounge and the Horse Racing New Brunswick offices in the building in the early morning hours of Tuesday.
On Tuesday, Fredericton Exhibition executive director Mike Vokey said the organization's board of directors decided to change the locks due to Horse Racing New Brunswick violating the lease agreement between the parties.
The action left the provincial horse racing body without access to its office, business operations, its simulcast operations showing horse races from other tracks, and its Coasters lounge Winners, which has 25 video-lottery terminals owned by the Atlantic Lottery Corp.
Horse Racing New Brunswick president Robert Nixon said the VLTs would bring in about $15,000 in revenue for the organization every two weeks.
In its application for an injunction, Horse Racing New Brunswick said it "has and will continue to suffer significant financial losses in the form of revenues from the sales of alcohol and food to patrons, revenues from any betting on horse races elsewhere in North America, and revenues from the use of [25 VLTs]."
The court documents state the video-lottery machines are worth more than $350,000 and would have to be returned to the lottery corporation after seven days of not being available to members of the public. Monday would mark the end of a seven-day period in which the machines were not being used.
Justice Paulette Garnett granted the injunction Friday morning, ordering that Horse Racing New Brunswick be given access to the facilities no later than 4 p.m. Friday.
"We expect to have the doors open and the beer pouring by six o'clock," said Horse Racing New Brunswick executive director Robert Nixon.
The injunction expires at midnight on May 30, but Horse Racing New Brunswick can apply for an extension of the injunction if it fails to reach an agreement with Fredericton Exhibition Ltd.