The decision comes from the OLG’s plans to reduce the amount of revenue that slots contribute to racetracks. 22 municipalities get a portion of the winnings, but the each area’s cut has now been significantly reduces. According to estimates, the harness racing marketing will now lose $10 million in funding.
The money will now go towards government coffers; however, the OLG has yet to define exactly how the funds will be spent. Normally, gaming revenue is used to fund healthcare and education initiatives and it is likely that the slots funds will be redirected to those causes.
While the decision benefits the province at large, it has been met with a great deal of resistance. Mayor Mike Bradley of Sarnia is opposed to it; he believes that he decision contradicts the initial harness racing agreement that was created over ten years ago.
Initially, it was agreed that the municipalities would recieve 5% on the first 450 slot machines and 2% from the remaining ones. The OLG’s decision slashes these figures and Mayor Mike Bradley hopes to reinstate the original plan.