Fredericton NB– Horse Racing New Brunswick announced today that it has launched a lawsuit against the Province of New Brunswick for breach of contract.
Horse Racing NB Inc. was created in 2009 under the direction of The Provincial Government and industry stakeholders. In order to incorporate HRNB into the gaming strategy of NB, a contract was formed in partnership with the province to allocate 150 video lottery terminals from the 2000 put in play by NB Lotteries and Gaming.
The 150 VLTS were designed to be placed at the existing racetracks in New Brunswick. HRNB, working through Atlantic Lotto, renovated Winners Lounge in Fredericton and placed 25 VLTs in that facility.
“The major hurdle in deploying the balance of the allotment of VLT’s was infrastructure”, said Dr. Mitchell Downey, President of Horse Racing New Brunswick, “but we were determined to make it work.”
In 2010, the incoming government of David Alward was engaged to look at options for a racino facility at Exhibition Park in Saint John. HRNB was told to "find a partner". In 2012 that partner was found in the Woodstock First Nations Economic Development Corporation.
In September of 2012, HRNB and WFNEDC entered into a memorandum of understanding that would see the construction of a state of the art gaming facility in Saint John and revitalize the harness racing industry.
The very next day industry stakeholders were told that NB Gaming and the Province of NB would not recognize the MOU that HRNB had entered into, and further, had cancelled the contract, henceforth denying HRNB access to its allotment of VLTs. “In short” says Dr. Downey, “they breached a contract because they did not like the partner HRNB had found.”
Brian Murphy, attorney for HRNB says “this is a clear case of breach of contract. The Province will defend on the basis of policy, yet it broke the terms of the agreement they drafted, they broke their word.”
Dr. Mitchell Downey
President Horse Racing New Brunswick