Monday, March 26, 2012

And They're Off - Rally to Save Horse Racing in Ontario

The horse trailers circled University Avenue (in the area where the road is in the form of a race track) as protesters gathered near the steps of Queen’s Park for a rally against the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) cuts at race tracks around Ontario. The protest at the Ontario Legislative grounds drew hundreds of people who will lose over $300 million in funding that supports the horse industry when slots are removed from the tracks. The three racetracks which have already been ordered to close are Windsor, Fort Erie and Sarnia, leaving 14 tracks still potentially on the chopping block as Ontario drives to increase revenues in a fight against the deficit. The building entrance was fenced off and several bike police were on hand to bolster the Queen’s Park forces. 
Horse trailers come around the south leg of the Queen's Park oval - I can't see who is in the lead

The profitable arrangement between the slots and horse racing, created to find places to put slot machines, started with an 80-20% (OLG-horses) revenue sharing agreement. The Ontario government has now made it seem like the deal is a massive economic drain on the public purse and has started the slicing and dicing that will impact track workers, horse farms and their families and all the associated agricultural and commercial ties, leaving areas of Ontario which have already suffered dire economic losses with even more pain. 
When Ontario puts the permanent casino into Toronto, ironically rumoured to be at the Woodbine Race Track in NW Toronto (Rexdale), the existing casinos, especially Rama, will soon feel the loss of revenues as people stay and play closer to home. This is fine if the casinos hadn’t made massive investments which are now in jeopardy. And as gambling becomes more accessible to Toronto the gambling levels and addictions can only increase as the majority of gambling revenue is provided by a small percentage of gamblers. It doesn’t seem like good odds will favour this issue working out to a win-win situation. 
Two horses poke out of the trailer

See more protest photos after the jump.

Protesting dinosaur

Line of trailers
Dogs with horse type blankets reading "Horse racing feeds my family"
Making speeches on the small stage
Looking south towards the police, barrier and the protest crowd

Related Posts by Categories

Widget by Hoctro | Jack Book

No comments:

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square