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Slots Cancellation Hits Horse Racing Industry Hard

August 17 LuckyLady

Slots aren’t just important to a casino’s bottom line, but an economy stimulant that many seem to overlook. We see it here with the loss of jobs related to the horse-racing industry.

Just 18 months after the Ontario government cancelled the Slots at Racetracks program, about 9,000 have lost their jobs, and the ripple effect is still not over according to a new report.

Many farmers are now on the brink of bankruptcy and according to an Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association report, about a billion dollars’ worth of investment has left the province.

So why does slots affect horse-racing so much?

Slots are a great attraction/draw to any other type of gambling style games. People simply love slots and will go anywhere to play them, not just Las Vegas. Where there is people, there will be action and this is the case for the horse-racing industry as well.

How much will this cost tax payers?

The cancellation of slots in Ontario, Canada will hit taxpayers with a $81 million dollar tab. Operators are said to be compensated for cancellation of slot machine revenue sharing program.  The payments are going to tracks that spent money on expansion to accommodate more slot machines before the government unexpectedly cancelled the funding mechanism that had delivered more than $3.4-billion to the horse-racing industry since 1998. Not all compensation agreements have been finalized, but $80.6-million will be distributed overall, including $31.5-million to Great Canadian Gaming for its Georgian Downs track north of Toronto. 

Horse racing and other forms of gambling such as slot machines bring in much needed economic stimulus.

Gambling can be a Powerful Economic Development Tool. Las Vegas is a testament of the powerful ability of gambling to foster economic development. Because of gambling, Las Vegas has shown impressive job growth, developed into a major city with a low tax burden that many state and local governments look at with envy, and has spawned significant private and public sector investment. Cab the Las Vegas model be duplicated even on a small scale?  Who actually gains from gambling profits? Who loses? Do the cons outweigh the bad? How widespread are the economic benefits?

SOURCE: CTVNews, Guelphmercury, Globe and Mail, Economic Impact of Gambling

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