Ontario to Give Racing $400M Over Five Years

The Ontario government said Oct. 11 it will provide up to $400 million to the horse racing industry in the province over a five-year period.

The government earlier this year ended the slots-at-racetracks program, which produced about $350 million a year for racing and breeding. Most tracks still have the government-operated machines, but purses and breed development now derive no revenue from gaming.

The government contribution averages about $80 million a year.

The government said it will "integrate" racing with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. modernization strategy, which may include "horse-themed lottery products."

The funding will be used to pay for branding and marketing, animal welfare and business planning, and the Horse Improvement Program, according to a release. The government said funds "will be tied to accountability and transparency measures," and that racetracks must make a case to receive the funds.

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