Ontario’s ombudsman won’t review provincial decision to end racetrack program

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Industry pushes for an independent review of the controversial decision

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For many years I was involved in the race horse business. I saw the declines in attendance over 50 years and when the slots came the entire industry saw it as their lifeline. I saw infighting amoung horsemen and tracks over every dollar for decades, instead of collectively expanding their brand to the public as did pro wrestling, football and many other sports. When betting became legal on all sports horse racing lost their edge as an outlet for gambling. Since the slots have been subsidizing horse racing it has become obvious it is much easier and more profitable to run a casino than a track with upkeep and maintenance. The horsemen have been carried by the slots for years and everyone with any insight could see the racetracks were going to rid themselves of horse racing as soon as possible. It seems the slots have finally got themselves a parliament that is more interested in monetary returns than keeping a long standing industry in operation. Pulling a slot every 10 seconds is far more exciting than waiting 20 minutes between races for the average person going out for an evening of fun and for the gamblers the action is there. Sorry horsemen, but the writing has been on the wall for a long time. You spent your time infighting over every dollar instead of looking at the big picture. The slots have carried you long enough and progress is swallowing up another bit of history. I loved the horses and it is sad but it is just another reflection of our modern day society. It's too much work to clean out a stall and get some exercise. Now it's the norm to sit all day and look at a screen. No wonder medicare has risen. The sport of kings doesn't make enough money and in todays world it's all about the money. So sad.
Larry Moore
Former Standardbred breeder and trainer.

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