A class-action lawsuit could be in the future for the Ontario Provincial Government if OHHA has its way!
OHHA's general manager, Brian Tropea, has gone on the record as saying that OHHA lawyers have looked into and are considering a class-action lawsuit in relation to the Ontario Liberal Government pulling out of the Slots-At-Racetracks agreement!
"The OHHA is looking at all legal options," Tropea was quoted as saying yesterday in an article by the Barrie Examiner. "A class-action lawsuit is definitely something our lawyers are looking at."
The report has also quoted veteran racehorse owner Tony Tangereda of Kettleby, Ont. as saying that the situation has been "terrible" and that the Ontario government "should be happy with the money they’ve had. Now they’re putting 50,000 people out of work who will have to collect welfare. They (horsepeople) don’t know anything but horse racing.”
Tangreda continued, stating, “Without the slot machines there will be no way (for racing) to survive. There will be no money coming in. I normally keep 15 horses and now I’m down to seven. I’ll decide where to go from there if there is no slot money coming in. I’m not going to keep horses if there’s no money to race.”
The article also features a rare comment from a member of the province's upper-echelon driving colony, Mike Saftic. "If the purses get cut and the horses go away, the race tracks are going to close down,” Saftic was quoted as saying. “There’ll be no place to make a living. There’s no way we’re going to survive.”
OLG AT FAULT?
When the Slots At Racetrack Program was introduced, an obligation was placed on the OLG to consult with the horse racing industry (OHRIA specifically) and the ORC and develop benchmarks for monitoring the progress and success of the Program on an annual basis. No benchmarks were ever developed and no annual consultations were held. The Program continued to operate within a vaccuum.
Furthermore, from time to time operational decisions were made by the OLG in its legitimate interest but without regard for their potential impact on the horse racing industry which, inadvertently, ended up competing directly with the racing industry. (ei: The expansion of Ceasars in Windsor, the construction of the Point Edward Casino) Card table gaming should have been introduced into "border" raceway facilities such as Windsor, Fort Erie, Hiawatha, Rideau Carlton and Woodbine (who competes with Niagara Falls and Orillia), with a share of the revenue going to the horse racing industry. This would have aided the industry with the direct competition coming from the U.S.
Many citizens of Ontario are wagering on-line on horse races, with the internet sites being off-shore. Revenue is flowing off-shore with little return to the horse racing industry except for a small payment for the racing signal. The Ontario government should permit the horse racing and breeding industry to engage in internet wagering on horse races and to regulate the sites through both the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency and the ORC.
Excerpts from: It's All About Leadership; Stanley Sadinskey, William McDonnell, Jane Stewart-2008
Federal and Provincial governments share jurisdiction over the Agricultural sector, with Federal legislation paramount in the event of a conflict. At this point it is now the Federal government's duty to intercept the Provincial government's decision to annihilate an entire sector of the Ag industry-Cause "Houston...We have a Conflict!"
Stay safe, keep your hooves on the ground, and keep reaching for the wire!