The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) has announced the closure of slot operations at Fort Erie, Windsor and Sarnia as of April 30th, as well as the demise of the long-standing revenue-sharing slots-at-racetracks program, set to end next year.
OLG has pledged to contribute “reasonable payments” to affected racetrack owners and municipalities until March 31, 2012, as long as live horse racing events continue.
A statement on the Fort Erie Racetrack website assures employees and racing fans that the 2012 racing schedule will carry on as planned, and that management will keep everyone informed of their plans for next year.
Jim Henderson, owner of Hiawatha Horse Park and Entertainment Centre in Sarnia, has stated that the end of the slots will likely mean the end of live racing at the track as well, as there is no way they can keep on once funding is cut next season.
It is not clear, at this time, to what extent live racing will be affected Windsor Raceway.