Province gives horse racing industry $400M

By: Mary Ormsby; Feature reporter, Published on Fri Oct 11 2013  The Star - GTA

New central body will be responsible for improving accountability and transparency in the sport, which has faltered since Slots at Racetracks program ended.

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The Fort Erie Racetrack Business Case - Ontario’s Best Bang For The Buck

Click on Fort Erie 2014 Season and follow very easy simple instructions to email Politician’s and Transition Panel Members.

Request for all to immediately lobby Premier’s Office (kwynne.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org) in support of Fort Erie Racetrack re one of the most cost-efficient tracks that is already achieving or exceeding all Transition Panel’s industry performance goals & objectives:

  1. Fort Erie Racetrack has increased wagering and patronage year-over-year for the past 4 years of operation under the community-owned, non-profit FELRC structure.
  2. The 2013 FE performance numbers:
  • On-track live racing handle per race is up more than 10% (2nd highest in the Province)
  • Net earnings (race-by-race basis) is up 2%
  • F&B revenues up 13%
  • Program sales up 55% (strongest indicator of new betting customers and arguably the most important)
  • No other racetrack in Ontario can match these impressive performance numbers.

Every Ontario racetrack will now incur long-term operating deficits as a result of the cancellation of SARPS. However, when the Panel’s other industry recommendations are also implemented (re “home market” revisions), Fort Erie Racetrack’s operating deficit will decrease by more than half again, making it one of the most cost-efficient and economically-beneficial racing venues in all Ontario. This additional revenue generated from home market reconfiguration will equal or exceed what Fort Erie would otherwise receive from Slots lease income thereby putting it on equal financial footing with every other track in terms of “other income” (re Slot lease revenues) used to offset the costs of live racing operations.

Still fighting for racing jobs

All Local 2 members are invited to support our fellow members at Fort Erie Racetrack. 

This can be done by contacting the Premier’s OfficeMinister of finance, both Leaders of the Opposition Parties (Tim Hudak & Andrea Horwath) and demanding Fort Erie Racetrack provided with transition funding for a “70 day season with 10 days of quarter horse racing”.


Fort Erie Racetrack (FELRC) is a community-owned, non-profit track trying to preserve good paying jobs at Fort Erie’s largest employer.   The FELRC should be commended and properly supported in their stellar efforts to save these good jobs in the community.

The FELRC serves a model for the entire racetrack industry in Ontario.

Read the letter to the Panel Members

Local 2 presented submissions to the Ontario Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Rural Affair, Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel.  Click to view the submission.

 “Save Woodbine Jobs” Lobbying Campaign (Toronto Casino Consultations)

As most SEIU Local 2 members are already aware, Toronto City Council is currently seeking public input regarding the approval of a casino in Toronto. On behalf of our members employed at Woodbine, Local 2 made a presentation to the City’s Executive Council on the 5th November 2012 . Now our members can have their say too.

Our position is clear – The City of Toronto should approve two casino sites in Toronto, a downtown casino and a casino located at the Woodbine Racetrack and operated by the Woodbine Entertainment Group.

A Casino located at Woodbine would not only protect the jobs of our members there, provide new revenue to the City of Toronto, but would save horse racing in the city and protect 7,500 jobs.

A second casino in downtown Toronto would create thousands of new jobs; first in construction and then at the casino complex itself as well as providing substantial revenue to the City.  

We are asking all our Toronto area members visit the City of Toronto’s website at www.toronto.ca/casinoconsultation and complete the on-line Feedback Form. There is a great deal at stake and your voice is important.



As the City of Toronto discusses the possibility of a Casino downtown, Local 2 will be making submissions to the Council supporting  a downtown casino but only if it also approves a casino at  Woodbine for without a casino at Woodbine thousands of good jobs at Woodbine will be lost.

Cameron Nelson, President of Local 2 presents the case fo r a Casino at Woodbine to the Toronto City Council Executive.


Press Release; Ontario Government taking positive steps towards a resolution with the Sport of Horse Racing

Read SEIU Local 2's Response to the threat to racing.   

You can help by, using this special page to email every member of Provincial Parliament to protest.