24 June 2008

Interim Subsidization For Fort Erie Recommended By Sadinsky

UPDATE: Here is the 80 page Sadinsky Report called It's All About Leadership

I'd love to be able to read the Sadinsky Report myself. In the meantime, we have our first leak to the public as to what it says:

Report calls for major overhaul of racing industry

Sweeping changes to Ontario's horse racing industry are being recommended by an expert panel commissioned last year by the provincial government.

Among the suggestions contained in the Sadinsky panel's long-awaited report, obtained by The Niagara Falls Review Monday night, is one that encourages Queen's Park to provide "interim subsidization" to the Fort Erie Race Track to keep the facility viable provided a proposed $300- million redevelopment of the property makes sense and is likely to move ahead.

In a section of the 80-page report that deals specifically with challenges facing racetracks in border communities, the report notes the track is "struggling to survive" in the face of "external forces" such as increased competition and the high value of the Canadian dollar.

"Fort Erie (Race Track) is seeking to develop its property by adding other commercial, residential and entertainment offerings," the report reads.

"And it seeks the assistance of the Town of Fort Erie and the provincial government," the report continues in part.

"If the development proposals of Fort Erie make economic sense, we encourage the provincial government to consider providing support. This is principally an economic development issue and not a horse racing matter."

The report continues: "If diversification at Fort Erie Racetrack leads to stability of the racing enterprise, that will surely inure to the benefit of horse racing. If these plans are likely to go forward, we encourage the provincial government to provide a level of interim subsidization for Fort Erie unconnected to slot revenue in order to keep the track 'alive' in the interim."

The panel was headed by Stanley Sadinsky, a former head of Ontario Lottery and Gaming.

In May 2007, representatives of Nordic Gaming, the company that owns and operates the Fort Erie Race Track, went public with plans to enhance live racing at the 111-year-old border oval property with the development of a "mega resort."

Those plans include the construction of a four-star hotel, a large-scale entertainment complex and a 2,500-unit, timeshare/condominium development.

A spokesman for the track's ownership was not available late last night to comment on the report.

The Fort Erie Race Track has been losing money for several years. Faced with the possibility of losing Fort Erie's largest employer should the track shut down, the town and the Fort Erie Economic Development and Tourism Corporation launched a "Save the Race Track" campaign during the lead up to last October's provincial election. The campaign was aimed at convincing the province to provide short-term assistance to the track in order to keep it financially viable until the redevelopment project is completed.

Among the other recommendations for horse racing in Ontario:

¦ the creation of a "gaming secretariat," to implement a comprehensive strategy for Ontario that includes the horse racing industry and promotes cooperation between different sectors of gaming;

¦ reconstitute and revamp the Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association, and rename it as Horse Racing Ontario.

What happens when this idiotic development plan is not deemed viable? There is no way that it is viable. What does Sadinsky say about that possibility?
Once a legitimate viability report is done on this project, and they find that there is no way in hell that the project is viable, what is the government's stance on Fort Erie?


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The want claims to be sent to them. I'm wondering if they are refunding bets made on HPI or other ADW's. If so, why would they need a written submission? The ADW's know exactly what was bet on those races. Fort Erie should just give them the go ahead to refund the money into those accounts.
If someone had the triactor in a three horse box and cashed, are they eligible to get $5 or the full $6 back?

Congrats to Not Bourbon. He proved me wrong twice in a row. Usually a horse has to be something else to win at 6 furlongs and at a mile and a quarter within 8 or 9 months.
And Emile Ramsammy proved why jockeys are sometimes called pinheads for his idiotic ride on D. Flutie. Not that the horse would have won or been close with a better ride, but Ramsammy should have known that there was a come from behind bias especially after Emma Aint Bluffin blew by Wild Lucy Dancer the race before the Plate.
Oh yeah, congrats to Roger Attfield for his eighth Queen's Plate victory. Amazing feat.

Woodbine Jockey David Clark To Be Sentenced On Friday. ORC To Review His License After Sentencing. Jail Term Is Very Likely.

IEAH Stables (Big Brown's majority owner) vows to race their horses drug free by October 1st. Though Lasix, with all its masking capabilities, is still going to be allowed by IEAH.

Big Brown's shoe dislodged from his hoof shortly after the start of the Belmont.

More news from Bloodhorse.com

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