Monday, March 26, 2018

Province extends horse-racing subsidies

The Liberal government, facing an election in June, has promised $105 million a year for 19 years to support horse racing.

The promise would begin April 1, 2019.

The current subsidy is $100 million-per-year for the Horse Racing Partnership Funding Program that began April 1, 2014, after the province nearly ruined harness racing with its program to revamp gambling.

The announcement on the weekend includes “additional supports for smaller racetracks and those that are experiencing financial shortfalls.”

The new funding agreement is expected to “empower the horse racing industry to work together to make long-term decisions about horse breeding, racing programs, capital investments and hiring,” the government said.

“It will include specific measures focused on supporting community racetracks, including operational funding and purses.”

The Enhanced Horse Improvement Program will continue and the promises include a new Racetrack Sustainability Innovation Fund, providing up to $6 million over three years, beginning this year, to “help regional racetracks innovate, diversify and expand revenue sources.”