TORONTO — Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp's 2012 plan to modernize was "overly ambitious" and "overly optimistic," as well as problematic for the province's horse-racing industry, says Ontario's auditor general.
Bonnie Lysyk said in a report on OLG's modernization plan that the Liberal government's "abrupt" cancellation of the Slots at Racetracks Program in 2012 has had a "significant impact" on the horse-racing industry.
"OLG developed its modernization plan without sufficiently consulting such stakeholders as municipalities and the horse-racing industry," Lysyk said in a statement Monday. "The profits should have been more realistic, and the abrupt impact on the horse-racing industry could have been mitigated had more people been consulted beforehand."
"The profits should have been more realistic, and the abrupt impact on the horse-racing industry could have been mitigated had more people been consulted beforehand."
Former premier Dalton McGuinty's Liberal government set the horse-racing industry on its heels in 2012 by scrapping the slots program as part of an OLG modernization plan. Revenue from slot machines was used to shore up the industry.
Lysyk said the Grits knew that scrapping the slots program would have a significant impact on the industry, but proceeded with only a year's notice.