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Dealtown Casino Hotel and Retirement Village Initiative

Simple Solutions Can Save Ontario Liberals from Self Destruction…

Chatham, ON. February 29, 2012...  Simple Solutions Can Save Ontario Liberals from Self Destruction…

 
The Toronto Casino, Ontario Place and Horse Racing subsidy issues are three explosive issues capable of bringing down the Liberals if solutions are not found before the next budget!   As many of my followers know, I have offered up a solution that would make some, maybe even all, the stakeholders in the Ontario horse racing industry very happy campers.  It would also cough up a couple of billion dollars towards Ontario’s bulging deficit. The article that I published over the weekend, titled “Don Drummond is a Genius”  provides a rough framework for this WIN, WIN solution.
 
In simple terms, here is what I have proposed and how it addresses Don Drummond’s recommendation to derive more income for the Ontario treasury from OLG. The solutions is really quite simple and can be almost painless, if not even comforting!  Let me walk you through the steps and the logic behind my plan, which for selfish reasons, I will continue to encompass under my Dealtown Casino Initiative (DCI) under the sub-heading of the Super-Track Plan (STP) because it gives new life to the old rusty failing OLG Slots at Racetracks program.
 
First, there is no disputing that the 10 year old OLG Slots at Racetracks program is broken and seriously flawed.  Most of the 17 agreements expired on December 31, 2011 and unless someone at OLG seriously screwed up, those agreements would not have been renewed yet since everyone at Queens Park and OLG was awaiting the Drummond Report before doing anything major. During the initial 10 year term, more than $3.5 billion dollars was dolled out to the Racetracks and Horse People as referred to by OLG.  An additional $600+ million was paid directly to the municipalities in which the 17 racetracks are located.
 
The first and most serious flaw deals with the nearly equal payment of 10% to both the Racetracks and Horse People of the slot machine revenues at these sites.  The payments to the Horse People appears to have been used to improve the breeding stock in Ontario and to support race purses at these tracks to attract quality breeders to our province to share in the race purses. This was confirmed in the 2008 report to the Minister of Government and Consumer Services that dealt with the strategic vision and direction for the Ontario Horse Racing and Breeding industry.  This same study confirmed that the payments to the Racetracks seriously lacked any controls or accountability to OLG.  Therein lays the $1,750,000,000 problem!
 
The second flaw in the current slot program was the belief and anticipation that locating the slot machines at these racetracks would somehow attract an increasing number of people to the track when the horses were actually racing.  Unfortunately, almost the opposite happened in that the people, who were attracted to the slots seldom , if ever, take in the horse racing which in itself is seasonal. They come to the track, morning, noon and night for the sole purpose of playing the slots. If the slots were relocated to another more convenient location in these same communities, as the Drummond Report suggested, revenues to OLG would most certainly increase; and in all likelihood it would double or even triple. 
 
For those unfamiliar with horse racing, you should understand that the 17 racetracks involved with the OLC Slot Program operate an average of only 88 days each year, with 9 of them open for racing less than 88 days and 4 of these 9 operate less than 30 days a year.  You should also know that there is more money spent playing Bingo in Ontario than there is bet on pari-mutual wagering at these horse racing tracks in Ontario.
 
Ask yourself, “How could Don Drummond not point Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals to the OLG and its antiquated and seriously flawed Slots at Racetracks program and how could he not see that the gaming industry in Ontario is one of many ways to generate much needed revenues for the government’s war on its deficit?”  The knee-jerk solution from the Minister of Finance, Dwight Duncan was to open a big casino in Toronto and cut what he calls “the subsidy” program to the Ontario horse racing industry. That solution is seriously flawed for many reasons including the fact that I could take 3 to 5 years to build this mega-casino in Toronto and including the fact that it would seriously damage the horse racing industry in Ontario which supports 55 to 60 thousand jobs.
 
Along comes, little ole Brian Keenan, the self-appointed Chairman of the Dealtown Casino Hotel and Retirement Village initiative, DCI for short.  This initiative was started long before Keenan and most other folks in Ontario even heard of Don Drummond and his report.  It was started to bring new life to one of Ontario’s devastated communities, namely Chatham-Kent by delivering a modest 3,000 new jobs.  It was started to save the 650,000 sq ft 250 acre closed regional centre from being bulldozed.  It was started because the government passed over this suitable faciliy for that correctional institution in favour of a spanking new $247M building being built in Windsor in the Hon. Dwight Duncan’s riding.  

Along came the Duncan Report that challenges the government to manage its real estate assets more efficiently and charged them to use OLG to generate more revenues.
 
Tune in to my next blog entry to learn how the revised Dealtown Casino Racetrack & Retirement Village initiative has been enhanced to save the Horse Racing and Breeding industry in Ontario. Learn how a few simple steps by the Ontario Liberal government can generate several billion dollars to eat away at the deficit.  Learn how the Liberals can be accomplished without spending more taxpayer’s money!   
 
This is why I say, “Don Drummond is a Genius!”
 
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         30 –

By Brian Keenan, Chairman

Dealtown Casino Initiative
 
 

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