Woodbine, Ontario government reach agreement to continue live horse racing

The Canadian Press
Associated Press

TORONTO - The Ontario government and Woodbine Entertainment Group have reached an agreement to continue live horse racing at Woodbine and Mohawk Racetracks for the next two years.

The sport's history in Ontario came into question in June when Nick Eaves, the president and CEO of Woodbine Entertainment Group, said the Queen's Plate, North America's oldest continuously run stakes race, was in serious jeopardy.

Eaves made the remark following the Ontario government's decision to end the lucrative slots at racetrack program at the end of March 2013.

The revenue-sharing agreement gave racetracks a cut of the slot profits, amounting to $345 million annually.

Eaves had said he couldn't see how horse racing in Ontario could survive without the revenue-sharing program.

But Jim Lawson, Woodbine Entertainment Group's chairman of the board, said while this agreement gives the industry a short-term fix, work on a long-term solution will continue.