Horse Racing Better than stock trading for everyone

125x1251[1]The way the penny market is, maybe we should try horse racing in lieu to get our fix…this article is from Woodbine, Ontario….. Ontario…a province in Canada where Toronto is found
I myself find beating my program on my hip whilst watching my favorite trainer at Hastings Parks horses run very therepuetic and fun

One year later, Slots at Racetracks cut still rankles

The numbers don’t lie: horse racing is good for you.

Stick with me.

Even if you have never been to a race or have no interest in the sport, horse racing is contributing to health care and education in Ontario and other vital public programs that impact all citizens.

In municipalities with racetracks, horse racing helps keep property taxes down. Horse racing provides much-needed revenue to fight the massive provincial deficit and debt.

The horse racing industry provides tax revenue and jobs in rural Ontario where options are scarce. So why is the Liberal government willfully dismantling the sport as quickly as it can?

Why can’t the government do simple math?

Why is the Ontario Lottery and Gaming corporation throwing away a major, proven revenue stream in favour of a wild scheme to put more casinos — as it likes to say — “where the people are” in the face of growing evidence such gaming expansions frequently have disastrous economic and social consequences?

Most importantly, why don’t enough people care about horse racing?

It has been a year since the Liberals needlessly targeted horse racing’s 30,000 full-time jobs for execution by cancelling the lottery corporation’s most profitable sector — the Slots at Racetracks program.

It’s strange that on one hand Premier Kathleen Wynne talks of wanting to protect jobs, support rural Ontario and grow the economy and then insists the horse racing industry must be smaller.

Can anyone explain how cutting a billion-dollar program, killing jobs in rural Ontario and putting people on social assistance will help her achieve growth, protect jobs and support rural communities?

Horse racing received about 60 per cent of its funding from slots operating in private racetracks.

That slots program, like the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, delivered more than $1 billion of revenue to Ontarians every year. Yet, horse racing never gets mentioned in the same vein as the liquor board as a provincial asset delivering a much-needed revenue stream for all Ontarians, whether they are customers, or not.

The lottery corporation wants you to swallow its blarney that replacing the slots at racetracks program with a behemoth casino in your backyard will provide even more money to the treasury.

Don’t believe it. Look no further than Atlantic City where the $2.4-billion Revel casino filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week less than a year after opening. The neighbouring Trump Plaza was sold two weeks ago for $20 million, less than 10 per cent of what it cost to build 30 years ago.

Why would any sane person trade a $1-billion success story for a model that loses money?

There are also countless cautionary tales from cities across North America about the damage done to communities when casinos get too big and are located where people live. For sure, such gaming monsters, known for attracting people and keeping them there, are regarded widely as a death knell for local businesses and a further drain on the most vulnerable.

What about your property taxes? Municipalities know what they receive from their cut of racetrack slots. Sadly, what they will get under the lottery corporation’s expansion plan is conjecture at best. More troubling, many of the lottery corporation’s estimates for municipal revenue seem to have declined each time officials are asked. That hardly instills confidence the new plan will be better.

Further, the lottery corporation wants to turn the casino expansion over to private casino companies. Those companies will, assuredly, take more than racing’s 20 per cent cut of revenue. There’s also a strong likelihood those casino companies will be foreign-owned. That means a huge cut of the money will be taken out of Ontario’s economy.

Does any of this sound like it’s better for your bottom line?

As far as horse racing is concerned, now the government is talking about spending your tax dollars to subsidize a sport it’s trying to kill. Under the slots program, only people who chose to gamble at racetracks helped fund the province’s second largest agricultural sector. It wasn’t a handout, either. Horsepeople had to compete to earn that money.

Sadly, about the only thing we know for sure after a year of uncertainty is that the slots program at racetracks is dead.

The industry must accept that and continue to make the only tangible arguments it has: That the lottery corporation’s expansion plans are a gamble Ontarians cannot afford and horse racing needs to be included in the revenue stream of a more modest gaming modernization plan that’s kept at tracks and out of people’s backyards.

If you’re still not convinced, if you still don’t care, ask yourself this question: Will you be better off a year from now if horse racing is gone?

Source: Dave Briggs, The Canadian Sportsman, published in Guelph Mercury-News

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