Letter to AGCO regarding Flamboro and Georgian Downs

July 19, 2021

 

Tyler Durand

Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario

90 Sheppard Avenue E, Suite 200

Toronto, Ontario M2N 0A4

 

By email: tyler.durand@agco.ca

 

Dear Mr. Durand,

The Ontario Harness Horse Association (OHHA) have been receiving multiple complaints from both racing fans as well as participants concerning the actions of the licensee Great Canadian Gaming (GCGC), the owners and operators of both Flamboro Downs and Georgian Downs in the province of Ontario. While every other racetrack in the province have welcomed back fans to attend live racing events, GCGC have refused to open the racing facility at Georgian Downs. Phone calls are not answered and there has been no explanation from GCGC as to why the facility remains closed. While the Casino operation opened back up on Friday July 16, 2021 and have been hosting members of the public in the same facility as racing fans would like to access, racing fans continue to be denied the opportunity to attend the racing programs. Every licensee of the Alcohol and Gaming Corporation (AGCO) has the obligation to act in the best interest of the racing industry and it is the position of OHHA that GCGC is negligent in their obligation. There can be no debate that what GCGC is doing is contrary to the best interests of racing and in fact is detrimental to the very labor intensive agricultural industries of horse breeding, training and racing. Horse racing participants have invested heavily in the industry and expect and desire to be able to attend the races to watch and encourage their horses. Fans, the lifeblood of the industry, are being deprived of the opportunity to view and participate in the live racing experience. On behalf of OHHA we ask that the AGCO immediately investigate the situation and order GCGC to open the facility to our racing participants and fans as soon as possible.

 

Yours truly,

 

Brian Tropea

General Manager

CC: Ontario Racing

Ontario Federation of Agriculture

Warren (Smokey) Thomas

OLG

Rod Phillips

Monte McNaughton

Lisa Thompson

Donna Skelly

Andrea Khanjin