Beginning in the 2017 racing season, the money will directly support Standardbred track purses, the area of racing in which most participants earn their living. This is consistent with direction from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and agreed to by Ontario Racing and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.
OR will manage the requested funds from a separate trust account and will implement management, reporting and accountability mechanisms, in consultation with OLG, to ensure that funds are dispersed in alignment with OR’s objectives of industry self-determination and sustainability.
Accounting and reporting will be undertaken separately from OR accounts and OR managed Horse Improvement Program (HIP) trust accounts. The funds will also be part of OR’s annual financial audit activities. The disbursement details, audited reporting and all related information will be posted publicly on the OR website.
The funds will be distributed within a two-and-a-half-year envelope from July 2017 to March 2020. OR will determine and budget the fund availability on an annual basis and disperse the funds based upon an annual business plan approved by the OR Board of Directors.
The stranded purse account was previously held in trust and being managed by OLG. With this transfer of funds to OR, the industry association will ensure that the funds are used to fulfill their original purpose: supporting both Standardbred purses and harness horse racing participants across Ontario.