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MILTON, May 14, 2018 - Woodbine Mohawk Park would like to notify all harness racing horsepeople of a change to the draw schedule. Effective immediately, draws for Saturday cards will now take place on Tuesdays. The rest of the draw dates remain the same. Here is the new draw schedule for Woodbine Mohawk Park. Enter Monday for Thursday Enter Tuesday for Friday and Saturday Enter Thursday for Monday Tuesday evening cards will be added to the Woodbine Mohawk Park schedule beginning June 5. The draw for Tuesday cards will take place on Fridays. The entry box for each draw closes at 10:30 a.m. Mark McKelvie

Kawartha Downs will run an 18-date harness racing schedule in 2018 but beyond that there is only uncertainty. Orazio Valente, general manager of the Fraserville track, agreed to open the track after a two-hour meeting with area horse people on Saturday afternoon. The season will begin on May 26 and run for 18 consecutive Saturday nights beginning at 7 p.m. "We have decided to race for this season," said Valente at a press conference following the meeting. "I have the full commitment of the local community that we will make this year the best year ever despite all the difficulties and financial shortcomings that come with it." The track has one year left on a $1,062,000 annual agreement with the province to fund purses and operating costs. Kawartha has no agreement with the province after Shorelines Slots leaves for a new casino in Peterborough this fall. Last week, the province finalized a 19-year funding agreement with 12 of 15 Ontario tracks. KD is one of the three not to sign as Valente says it doesn't cover expenses involved in maintaining facility currently covered by its casino lease. The track, which had the second highest live handle among Ontario harness tracks, applied for 40 race dates to generate more income opportunities but was granted 18, the same as 2017. Valente says it would take an additional $1 million to $2 million to make the facility viable. He wanted guarantees from the province on how they'd make up the shortfall before the writ was dropped last week on a June 7 election. He said he got none. A second issue for KD, Valente said, is Great Canadian Gaming appears unwilling to hire KD's 150 casino employees for the new casino. "I know there are a lot of news reports saying the new casino will bring up to 150 jobs with it. The part that gets lost in the news media is that there are 150 jobs here at Kawartha that will be lost," he said. "I ask Great Canadian Gaming to reconsider." Valente said he was told the 19-year deal would only proceed if all 15 tracks agreed to it. Now it's going ahead with 12. "Kawartha Downs and all the tracks which did not sign have become non-member tracks," said Valente. "The language inserted into this agreement is such that it becomes next to impossible for non-member tracks to exist in the long term." Non-member tracks are not privy to an additional $5 million for three years to assist tracks losing their casinos, to enhance purses or fund capital projects. Non-member tracks have until April 2019 to sign on. Valente said the track's only hope is for a change in government. "There is no future for horse racing at Kawartha Downs under a Liberal government," he said. The Ontario Harness Horse Association (OHHA), which represents local horse people, also refused to sign the agreement. OHHA general manager Brian Tropea said the province relied on the Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) for industry input on the agreement and didn't consult grassroots tracks. The result is a deal that doesn't work for three of Ontario's four regional tracks and their horse people. He said the province will earn more than $1 billion annually from a casino at Woodbine. He's disappointed they couldn't find an additional $1 million to assist Kawartha Downs. "We're terribly disappointed in how the Liberal government has handled this thing from start to finish," said Tropea. "I'm more disappointed in the people who purport to represent horse people that signed off on a long-term agreement that doesn't do anything for the horse people. It handcuffs the industry and restricts any opportunity for growth." Tropea said most of the tracks that signed are part of a WEG alliance. The three that did not aren't affiliated with WEG. "They're giving us enough to cover our basic costs of racing but they're not looking at all the infrastructure costs that keep this place open. Anybody who signed that deal either didn't read it or didn't understand it or didn't seek legal opinion on it." Mike.Davies@peterboroughdaily.com Reprinted with parmission of The Peterborough Examiner

London, May 11, 2018 -- Bridge Street, a longtime fan favourite at The Raceway at Western Fair District, was inducted into the harness racing track's prestigious Wall of Fame during an emotional ceremony on Friday night. The now 21-year-old led the post parade for the Wall of Fame race on Friday with co-owner and longtime trainer Scott McNiven in the bike. Scott's wife Kim, the regular caretaker for Bridge Street, was in tears as she led the gelding back into the winner's circle for the induction ceremony. Also on hand were fellow co-owners Tom Brodhurst and Shirley Griffin along with several friends and family. A large crowd lined the fence to get a look at Bridge Street who amazed them with his impressive physical appearance and charismatic personality. Bridge Street was a fierce competitor on the race track who possessed an innate will to win. In total, the son of Armbro Emerson captured 58 wins during his 361-race career that spanned 11 years. The former $10,000 yearling purchase amassed more than $676,000 along the way. Fans are reminded that there is a special matinee program scheduled for Mother's Day, this Sunday afternoon, with first post at 1:15 p.m. The $150,000 Camluck Classic is now just two weeks away. The field of eight will be finalized this week. The Raceway has a huge night planned and full details are available at www.camluckclassic.ca. Greg Blanchard

They’re in the hands of the starter… and THERRRRRRRE THEY GO! They’re off and pacing. The sounds, sights and thrills of those thundering hooves echoing down the track return to Georgian Downs Saturday, June 2, ushering in another great season of harness racing to have fans shouting themselves… well, hoarse! “Each season there is a sense of excitement as we move closer to opening the Georgian Downs facility for live racing,” according to Ontario Racing Operations assistant general manager Chad Gates. And it looks to be a full summer of outstanding events, on the track and off, Gates tells BarrieToday. “We will be starting off the season with $1 food specials at the concession stand at Georgian Downs. This is our traditional way of welcoming back our valued customers.”  What’s more, Gates says, “throughout our 2018 race meet, race fans will have the opportunity to watch and wager on some of the best harness horses in Ontario. The Ontario Sires Stakes will be held at Georgian Downs throughout the summer months,” (July 14, 15, 17, 21 and 29, as well as on Aug. 14 and 19). But, of course, the four-legged heroes don’t create this buzz all on their own. Gates tells us there are star drivers to watch out for. “Bob McClure, Canada’s winningest driver in 2016 and 2017 (as well as Georgian Downs top driver in 2016 and 2017), will once again be displaying his talents at Georgian Downs. The likes of other top drivers in the industry are sure to make an appearance on Ontario Sires Stakes nights.” Among them, “Sylvain Filion, James MacDonald (2017 World Driving Champion), and Rick Zeron, to name a few.” Gates also says harness racing in Ontario is making something of a comeback after a few lean years. “With the formation of the Ontario Racing Alliance, of which Georgian Downs is a member, harness racing seems to have become more stable than in the past. The harness racing industry is moving in the right direction.” One of the big events that should have folks circling their calendars is the $75,000 Earl Rowe Invitational Trot Sunday, Aug. 19. Moreover, says Gates, ‘to add excitement to the evening, we will also have Family Day with food specials, prizes, and loads of activities and fun for all ages.” Harness racing at Georgian Downs runs Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday nights, starting June 2 at 7:15 p.m. by: Glenn Wilkins Reprinted with permission of Barrie Today

MILTON, April 18, 2018 - Woodbine Mohawk Park would like to notify harness racing people of an upcoming change to the qualifying schedule. Starting next week, Woodbine Mohawk Park will offer qualifiers twice-a-week on Monday and Friday mornings. The entry box for Monday qualifiers will close on Saturday mornings at 10:30 a.m., while entries for Friday qualifiers must be submitted to the Race Office by 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday mornings. Qualifiers will begin each day at 10 a.m. Here is the upcoming qualifying schedule for Woodbine Mohawk Park: Thursday, April 19 Monday, April 23 - (Enter by Saturday, April 21) Friday, April 27 - (Enter by Wednesday, April 25) Monday, April 30 - (Enter by Saturday, April 28) Friday, May 4 - (Enter by Wednesday, May 2) Mark McKelvie

London, April 17, 2018 -- The first ever Camluck Classic is now just over a month away at The Raceway at Western Fair District and there will be some new twists to the London oval's signature harness racing event. In addition to the new race name and new date of Saturday, May 26, the event will feature a new Infield VIP Experience as part of the fun where fans will enjoy a unique view of the action from inside a 4,000 square foot tent located in the track's infield. "The infield experience is something we are very excited to offer for the first time," said The Raceway's Marketing Co-ordinator Amy O'Toole. "Customers will be able to enjoy all the amenities of those on the front side while experiencing the event in a unique and exciting way. " A limited number of tickets will be sold at a cost of $50 (tax included) and will include preferred parking (in the infield), free program, $2 betting voucher, BBQ chicken dinner, dedicated video board, cash bar, exclusive draws, D.J. and photo booth. Tickets will go on sale online this Friday, April 20th. In addition, a Facebook 'beat the box office' contest will open today at 2:30 p.m. where you will have a chance to win a set of two tickets to the Infield Experience on Camluck Classic night. The Facebook platform will also be used this year for another first time endeavour. The Raceway will team up with the Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) and Standardbred Canada to broadcast the Camluck Classic on Facebook Live with coverage beginning at 10:30 p.m. (ET) WEG's award winning broadcast team will be on hand to produce the one hour show which will be distributed on the Facebook pages of both WEG and The Raceway. Standardbred Canada brings their massive online reach to the partnership and will offer enhanced distribution of the telecast as well. WEG teamed up with the Breeders Cup for a Facebook Live broadcast of a 'Win and You're In' race last season which was very successful. They have a number of events scheduled throughout this racing season. More details surrounding the Camluck Classic will be announced in the coming days. To stay connected, visit www.westernfairdistrict.com. Greg Blanchard

MILTON, April 16, 2018 - The $6 million Breeders Crown, harness racing's richest and most prestigious year-end divisional championship series, is set to return in October 2019 to the newly renovated Woodbine Mohawk Park in Campbellville, Ontario, Canada. "Woodbine has hosted many Breeders Crown events, however, we are thrilled to welcome the championship series back 35 years later to the new Woodbine Mohawk Park," said Jessica Buckley, President, Woodbine Mohawk Park. "We look forward to having our fans and community experience this world class event with all the top horses in North America." Woodbine Entertainment has played host to more Breeders Crown events than any other racetrack, with the events contested in the past at Woodbine, Mohawk and Greenwood. Woodbine has held all 12 Breeders Crown events three times in the past seven years, most recently in in 2015, setting a Canadian harness racing handle record of $5.7 million. Mohawk Racetrack was in the initial rotation of host tracks in 1984, and was granted the $539,825 Two-Year-Old Filly Trot won by the late Hall of Famer George Sholty driving Castleton, Dawson and Simon's Conifer. The seven-eighths mile oval last staged the four Open divisions in 2008, capped by an epic rematch between open pacers Mr Big and Artistic Fella, with Mr Big emerging the winner. In 2017, Woodbine Entertainment announced a $10 million renovation and rebranding of Mohawk Racetrack to Woodbine Mohawk Park, to create a year-round showcase for Standardbred racing. Woodbine's continued support of championship events resulted in a commitment to host the Breeders Crown as soon as there was an opening. "Woodbine Entertainment has been an exemplary partner of the Breeders Crown series since our inaugural year in 1984," said John Campbell, president & CEO of the Hambletonian Society, which owns and administers the races. "We look forward to bringing the Crown back to a familiar but also brand new setting of Woodbine Mohawk Park." The Breeders Crown series has typically crowned champions in every division for trotters and pacers and been the deciding factor in Horse of the Year honors. A Breeders Crown title is one of the most coveted honors in harness racing. Woodbine stakes payments due today Woodbine Entertainment would like to remind owners and trainers of today’s stakes payment deadline for events in 2018. A round of sustaining payments for all 2018 Woodbine’s major stakes, including the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup, are due today (April 16). The following major stakes require a sustaining fee payment: Armbro Flight (Fillies & Mares Trot) Canadian Pacing Derby (Open Pace) Canadian Trotting Classic (3-year-old Trot) Casual Breeze (3-year-old Filly Trot) Elegantimage (3-year-old Filly Trot) Eternal Camnation (2-year-old Filly Pace) Fan Hanover (3-year-old Filly Pace) Goodtimes (3-year-old Trot) Maple Leaf Trot (Open Trot) Metro Pace (2-year-old Pace) Milton (Fillies & Mares Pace) Nassagaweya (2-year-old Pace) North America Cup (3-year-old Pace) Peaceful Way (2-year-old Filly Trot) Roses Are Red (Fillies & Mares Pace) Shes A Great Lady (2-year-old Filly Pace) Somebeachsomewhere (3-year-old Pace) William Wellwood Memorial (2-year-old Trot) The SBOA Stakes for Ontario sired three-year-old fillies also requires a sustaining payment today for this year’s event (foals of 2015) and next year’s event (foals of 2016). Woodbine continues to handle stakes administration duties for tracks throughout Ontario. A sustaining payment is due today for Grand River Raceway’s Battle of Waterloo, Battle of the Belles (Ontario Sired 2-year-old Pace) and Flamboro Downs’ Confederation Cup (4-year-old Pace). For full details regarding stakes payments, including sustaining fee amounts, click here. Stakes payments can be made online by clicking here. If sending stakes payments by mail, envelopes must be clearly post-marked no later than April 16, 2018 or payment will not be accepted. Registered mail is recommended. Mark McKelvie

MILTON, April 12, 2018 - When the doors open tonight at one of North America's most picturesque standardbred racetracks, harness racing fans and horsepeople alike will undoubtedly notice an abundance of impressive improvements, upgrades and offerings. Now the permanent home of premier Canadian harness racing, Woodbine Mohawk Park has undergone plenty of work over the past six months, structural and aesthetic enhancements that range from winterization of the facility, to renovations to the grandstand and paddock, along with the addition of the locally-inspired Mohawk Harvest Kitchen. "The focus the past six months was to winterize the facility and get ready for year-round racing," noted Jessica Buckley, president of Woodbine Mohawk Park. "We invested a total of $10 million in the facility and spent $8 million over the past winter starting with the standardbred race paddock, making sure that our horsepeople are going to be warm and comfortable for the winter months. We replaced all the windows and doors and added heat curtains. The bathrooms have also been upgraded and so too has the drivers' locker room and lounge area. It's completed and looking great." Things will also be looking great for the racing fans that take in the live action from indoors. "The other big part of the winterization was replacing the glass in the dining room," Buckley said. "The glass that was there was the original glass when the building was built in the 1960s. It was not clear any more and it was cold in certain areas. It wasn't going to work well for people sitting along that glass during the winter months. The vision glass has been completed and it really looks fantastic." Winterizing the facility - there is also a new equipment shed to house the snow removal and seasonal equipment on the west side of the grandstand - wasn't the only noteworthy project. On-air talent will now provide commentary from an upgraded broadcast studio that features a new look to the on-air set. Fans looking for food fare with local flair will have an enticing new option in the Mohawk Harvest Kitchen (or MHK), located in the Terrace Lounge. "It's a locally inspired menu that was created by our Woodbine chefs," Buckley noted. "It's featuring a lot of local ingredients from the area and in Ontario. We've been working with some local farming groups where we can source locally grown produce and proteins, along with alcoholic beverages that are made locally." There are also special rooms with a view. "We also added two new corporate suites to the dining room," said Buckley. "They're going to be great. It's a really nice space. They're not going to be ready for this weekend. But our first group is booked in for May. It will be a corporate box experience with its own menu and service staff." The plethora of upgrades and new fan-inspired experiences to Woodbine Mohawk Park isn't finished. "There will be more to come," said Buckley. "This is Phase 1, a large investment that really cleans up some of the tired spaces, along with the addition of the amenities for our horsepeople that we wanted to do. There will be a Phase 2 as well because now that we've done Phase 1, we'll look at the other areas that need a little TLC, too. "We'll keep going. I think it's important because we have a new opportunity with our new gaming partner (Great Canadian Gaming and Clairvest Group) coming on board - the excitement and the additional guests that are going to come to the property who we can try and attract to our live racing and our great food." Buckley sees it all, including the opportunity to watch pacers and trotters speed by the grandstand as if they are just an arm's length away, as the start of something great. "From a fan standpoint, to be up-close to the horses and have an experience in the race paddock where you can meet some of the drivers and trainers - Mohawk is second to none for that," she said. "That really is the magic. The horse and that experience you can't have anywhere else. The horse is obviously a big draw. The excitement of wagering on live racing and the great food is also part of the overall experience. "Our big opportunity now that we are here full-time is that we can really market it as a regional entertainment destination and up the ante on our large events to attract more people to those events and all-year round. We hope we can grow the North America Cup (slated for June 16) year after year, as well as our great fall stakes lineup. We have a lot of events planned around our September stakes weekend. This year, we also have the opportunity to celebrate the Holiday season at Mohawk as well. We've got some plans around that time focusing on family, getting people to come out in the winter months." The signs, literally and figuratively, are pointing to something special. "Another big part of Phase 1 was the rebranding to Woodbine Mohawk Park," Buckley said. "We've updated a lot of the signage, but that will be done in phases as well. The building will have a fresh, new look when people walk in." A building that will make racing fans, visitors and horsepeople feel right at home. Said Buckley, "Everything we've done and everything that will be done - we'll do it all the best we can." First post tonight is 7:30 p.m. On April 13 and 14, there will be food and beverage specials available. For more, visit the official Woodbine Mohawk Park website at: www.woodbine.com/mohawk/ By Chris Lomon for Woodbine Communications

MILTON, April 11, 2018 - The newly renamed Woodbine Mohawk Park will welcome back the Standardbreds on Thursday, April 12 for the 55th season of live harness racing. The upcoming meet will mark a new era in the history of Woodbine Mohawk Park, as the Campbellville oval will become Woodbine Entertainment's permanent home for live year-round Standardbred racing. A total of 168 race-cards will be held at Woodbine Mohawk Park during 2018 with the final card scheduled for Boxing Day. "We're excited to welcome the community and horse racing fans from across the region to Woodbine Mohawk Park," said Jessica Buckley, President, Woodbine Mohawk Park. "We've invested more than $10 million into the facility to create a best-in-class guest experience that lives up to our world-class standardbred racing. Fans and horseplayers will be able to watch and wager on live Standardbred racing from Woodbine Mohawk Park throughout the entire season on HPI with the familiar track code of "Woodbine SB". The signature event of the season is the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup on Saturday, June 16. The finest three-year-old pacers on the continent will battle to win Canada's richest harness race, while fans will enjoy a night filled with great entertainment both on and off the track. K. Trevor Wilson and Dylan Playfair from acclaimed CraveTV series, Letterkenny, will be the event hosts, while rising country-duo Buck Twenty will rock the Grandstand between races. Over $3 million in purses will be up for grabs on Pepsi North America Cup night, as the undercard features the Fan Hanover, Goodtimes, Armbro Flight, Roses Are Red and Mohawk Gold Cup. Tickets for the 35th edition of the Pepsi North America Cup are on sale now. Fans can purchase discount tickets of 25 per cent off by visiting Woodbine Mohawk Park on Opening Weekend (April 12-14). The first major event of the season at Woodbine Mohawk Park will be the annual Fireworks and Family Fun Night on Saturday, May 19. The Victoria Day weekend spectacular will feature live racing, an official ribbon cutting ceremony, a kid's activity zone, special family meal deals, fireworks display and more. Other notable dates during the season include the Canadian Pacing Derby and Maple Leaf Trot on Labour Day weekend (September 1), the Canadian Trotting Classic on September 15, Metro Pace on September 22 and Ontario Sires Stakes Super Finals on October 13. Woodbine Entertainment will unveil full event details as the season progresses. Woodbine Mohawk Park has undergone numerous renovations and upgrades over the course of the winter in preparation for its new era. Racing fans and customers will immediately notice a fresh feel this season when entering the Grandstand. The front entrance is revamped with the new Woodbine branding and updated to include a Social Media wall and a legends row highlighted by Hall of Fame Standardbred Somebeachsomewhere and San Pail. The MHK (Mohawk Harvest Kitchen) is another one of the exciting new features to the facility. MHK replaces the former Terrace Lounge and is equipped with a brand new full-service kitchen. MHK features a locally inspired chef's menu incorporating quality ingredients that are locally grown, locally sourced and sustainable. The Terrace Dining Room has also undergone a facelift with new glass windows and the addition of Corporate Box Suites. The two new suites offer a comfortable setting to enjoy live racing while celebrating a special occasion and can accommodate up to 20 people each. Opening Weekend (April 12-14) at Woodbine Mohawk Park will feature several specially priced "Welcome Back" offers for fans ranging from food and drinks to wagering. Live racing will take place each Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday during the racing season. Tuesday evenings will be added to the calendar starting June 5 and continue until October 16. Post time for each card is 7:30 p.m. except on Saturday, May 19 (6:45 p.m.) and Saturday, June 16 (6:30 p.m.) For more information about racing, dining and events happening this season at Woodbine Mohawk Park, visit www.woodbinemohawkpark.com. Mark McKelvie        

After almost three years of debates, the City Council of Sudbury, Ontario, voted Tuesday evening in favour of the rezoning procedure needed for the construction of the Kingsway Entertainment District. Although the casino project was approved, it would need to be given the green light by the court, as the battle between supporters and opponents of the new casino is now going to Ontario’s newly founded Local Planning Appeals Tribunal. At the Greater Sudbury City Council meeting, which started 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, councillors passed an amendment of the Official Plan which included the rezoning of the land where the proposed casino and entertainment complex is supposed to be built. The council voted 11 to 2 in favour of the amendmentand the only officials who voted against it were Ward 1 Coun. Mark Signoretti and Ward 3 Coun. Gerry Montpellier. Last month, the city’s Planning Committee approved three rezoning applications filed by developer Dario Zulich which were for a casino, an arena, and a parking lot. With the council’s vote, the rezoning of the 20-hectare vacant lot on the Kingsway was ratified and is very likely to move the project forward. The plans for the new complex, named Kingsway Entertainment District, include a casino, a hotel tower, and a CA$100-million concert arena. It is still unclear who would develop and operate the hotel, but the Boreal Hospitality Group and the Intercontinental Hotels Group said they are interested in the project. Gateway Casinos and Entertainment announced that it would be investing $60 million into the casino, which would replace the Slots Parlor at Sudbury Downs, a harness racing track. Currently operated by Gateway, the slots venue includes a little over 400 slots that would be relocated to the new gambling facility. In addition, the casino that would be built on a 6.96-hectare parcel of land would have three different restaurants. The Stinging Attack against the Project Continues Tuesday’s vote ended months of heated debate and harsh criticism against the Kingsway Entertainment District with various groups of society opposing the casino facility, in particular. The decision of Greater Sudbury City Council was taken after hours of discussion regarding the potential benefits and most of all, the potentially negative impacts of the proposed complex on the local community. Previously expressed concerns were once again raised by casino opponents at last night’s meeting, including the criticism that no studies on the environmental and economic impact have been done. According to some people, the land treatment with salt for the parking lot may harm the city’s main source of drinking water, the Ramsey Lake. Others, including many health experts, express concern for the problem gambling rates in the area, which may see a dangerous spike with the opening of a new casino. In addition, the new gambling venue might have even a more dramatic impact on Sudbury’s poorer communities located in close proximity. This was one of the main issues pointed out a couple of weeks ago in a joint open letter by representatives of around 50 religious groups. Anti-casino campaigners from the Casino Free Sudbury group released a report last month which focused on the risks Kingsway Entertainment District poses to the economy. The study, carried out by consultant company urbanMetrics, suggests that the casino may struggle to attract customers as it is located in a remote area. According to the findings, the only way the gambling facility would be able to generate some revenue is to divert revenue from other businesses in the city. This is why Tom Fortin who leads the Casino Free Sudbury group says that he and another 500 businessmen from the area are opposing the project. They are expected to file a notice of appeal in the province’s new authority on such matters, the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal. by Daniel Thompson Author: Daniel Thompson Daniel had previously worked as a correpsondent and editor for several local Canadian news websites. He developed true interest in the ways of the gambling industry after several accidental visits to casinos with friends.  

More than 50 faith leaders, including Sault Ste. Marie Bishop Marcel Damphousse, have banded together to oppose a $60 million casino project on the eastern edge of Greater Sudbury. But so far the faith side is losing the battle against gambling, with just one more vote to go at city council on April 10. The proposal was passed at a marathon planning committee meeting March 26. “Whoever develops an addiction and loses everything, it’s churches and social groups and the synagogues and the mosque who are going to be the ones picking up the slack,” said Christopher Duncanson-Hales, a member of a committee opposed to the a casino. “We do the charity in the Church. That’s our job and we’re up for it. But this is the justice side of it. You have to fight to stop it in the first place.” The proposed casino site is surrounded by low income and subsidized housing, not far from a seniors’ complex with more than 1,000 residents. The people on fixed incomes are among the most vulnerable to personal ruin through gambling, the University of Sudbury theologian said. “It’s in the middle of low-income housing where the health unit and the Canadian Mental Health Association has clearly stated that the closer proximity to the casino and the impact on people of lesser means or in subsidized housing is proportionately greater,” said Duncanson-Hales. He predicts that if the casino is built Holy Redeemer Catholic Parish’s independent food bank will be overwhelmed by demand. Gambling isn’t new to Sudbury. The Sudbury Downs racetrack has offered parimutuel wagering on harness racing for generations. After Ontario opened up to other forms of legal gambling in 1993, Sudbury Downs installed slot machines in 1999. In 2016 the province sent out a Request for Proposals on what it called the “Northern Gaming Bundle”including North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay, Kenora and Sudbury.  By February last year Vancouver-based Gateway Casinos had the contract and was in control of the slots at Sudbury Downs. Plans quickly evolved for an expansion of gambling to the “Kingsway Entertainment District” where the city is planning on a $100 million arena for the Ontario Hockey League’s Sudbury Wolves and a hotel. The 407 slot machines at Sudbury Downs generate more than $2 million a year for the City of Greater Sudbury, which has a population of 161,500. The company employs 141 people. The claim that expanded gambling is going to create more jobs and generate new tourist dollars is empty, Duncanson Hales said. “It’s not creating jobs. It’s taking jobs away,” he said, adding that city council has pushed aside studies that show the social costs of easier access to gambling outweigh the supposed benefits.  For the most part Sudbury citizens are somewhere between resigned to an inevitable expansion of gambling to hopeful the new entertainment district will be a plus, said Sudbury Living magazine editor Vicki Gilhula.  “Ten thousand people care, the rest do not,” she said. By Michael Swan Reprinted with permission of The Catholic Register  

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario is investigating an allegation of harness racing fixing at the racetracks in Leamington and Dresden. The ACGO regulates horse racing in Ontario under the authority of the Horse Racing Licence Act. AGCO spokesperson Ray Kahnert says “investigators in London did receive a call from a member of the public with concerns about racing at Leamington and Dresden.” “The AGCO review of this allegation is not complete,” says Kahnert. “AGCO Racing Investigators continue to gather information.” He adds the fairness and integrity of horse racing is of paramount concern to the AGCO. Wayne Martinuik, the general manager and treasurer of the Leamington horse racing group says “the allegations are false.” “The individual who made the allegation did this out of malice,” says Martinuik. The chair of the Lakeshore Racing Group, Tom Bain, says he only just learned of the investigation today and believes they will find no wrongdoing Bain believes the complaint has been filed by an owner of a thoroughbred, not a standardbred, which are raced in Leamington and Dresden. “It’s very frustrating, I'm really disappointed,” says Bain. “We had our best year in recent history in that we broke our attendance record and we broke our betting record with over $41,000 bet in one day.” Gary Patterson at Dresden Raceway says he is also disappointed by the allegation. Patterson tells CTV Windsor he is confident they will be cleared of any wrongdoing, and he hopes it doesn’t hurt their plans for the 2018 racing season. CTV Windsor received information that an investigation into race fixing during the 2017 seasons at Leamington Raceway and Dresden Raceway began in November. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the ACGO at 519-668-7558 or 1-800-522-2876. CTV Windsor

ELORA, ON - If you're a trivia buff, you're a Person Of Interest for Grand River Raceway's second annual Grand Trivia Night with Crime Stoppers Guelph Wellington (CSGW) on Saturday, February 17. Last year's sold-out event raised $1,375 for CSGW and awarded $250 to a team of four named McClary Automatics #2. The top scoring trivia team wins $200, plus a $50 bonus if they beat the score of the Pro Team, made up of the highest ranking officers in Wellington County OPP. Tickets are $35 per person and participants can register with their accomplices in teams of two or four. The ticket price includes 60 trivia questions in three rounds (a mix of general knowledge and crime trivia), Mashed Potato Bar, $10 slots voucher (19+), and HST. An online ticket fee of $2.79 is extra. The event also features a cash bar and silent auction. CSGW benefits $5 from each ticket, plus all silent auction sales. The trivia showdown takes place in the Lighthouse Restaurant at Grand River Raceway on Saturday, February 17. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., trivia begins at 7:00 p.m. and concludes at 9:30 p.m. A cash bar is available 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Tickets are available by advance sale only, and can be purchased online. Kelly Spencer

TORONTO, December 21, 2017 - Some people enjoy certain days of the week and right now Thursdays have been pretty good to harness racing driver Louis Philippe Roy. The Mont-Joli, Quebec reinsman steered five winners on Thursday's 10-race program at Woodbine Racetrack. It was the second consecutive Thursday that Roy captured five-races. Roy, who had a drive in all 10-races, made back to back trips to the winner's circle in the evening's second and third races. He first guided claiming pacer Kinda Like Her to a 7-1 upset for Stephen Charlton and then followed that up by finding the line first with Richard Moreau trained three-year-old trotting filly Oceanview Deb at 5-1. The "Hat-Trick" victory for Roy came in the sixth-race behind three-year-old trotting filly and overwhelming favourite Highland Top Hill ($3.20) for Marty Fine. Roy completed the evening by sweeping the late-double with Richard Moreau trained six-year-old pacer Kingsley B ($6.30) and Vernon Cochrane trained claiming pacer Jet Black Cadillac ($17.90). Oceanview Deb and Highland Top Hill were repeat winners for Roy from last week. Roy has won 14 races over the last five-cards of racing at Woodbine. He now has 271 wins on the season at Woodbine/Mohawk and is second in the circuit's driver standings behind Doug McNair (291). Recently named a finalist for the USHWA Rising Star Award, Roy will look to keep things rolling with seven-drives on Friday evening. Live racing continues at Woodbine Friday and Saturday. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

London, November 20, 2017 -- The Raceway at Western Fair District is gearing up for another busy and exciting holiday season featuring 14 live harness racing  programs during the month of December and some exciting events to go along with it. There will be a special afternoon program on Saturday, December 23rd beginning at 1:15 p.m. It will give customers a final opportunity to play the horses prior to the short Christmas break and there will be draws for holiday gift cards throughout the afternoon. The Top Of The Fair dining room will be open featuring the track's Pub Night menu. The always popular Boxing Day afternoon program will take place on December 26th, also featuring a 1:15 p.m. start time. Three patrons will be selected that afternoon to pick a fantastic prize item from the Gift Tree and there will be second chance drawings throughout the day as well. The Top Of The Fair will feature the annual Boxing Day Brunch and the Carousel Room will be open for customers to watch and wager on the races with food also available. The Raceway will be the place to celebrate New Year's Eve in London. The live race program will get underway at 7:05 p.m. and features the annual running of the Old Lang Syne Trot and Pace for the veteran performers. Among the expected starters this year will be 14-year-old trotter Weskey and 14-year-old pacer Pacific Oak - both have become fan favourites at the London oval. There will be a grand prize draw that night for a Coors Light snowboard and second chance draws for tickets to the Wine and Food Show and Home Show along with betting vouchers and more. Guests are invited to stay following racing and ring in the New Year with dancing and party favours at the Top Of The Fair. The Raceway is currently operating on a three-day-a-week schedule - Mondays and Tuesdays at 6:15 p.m. and Fridays at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday night programs will be added in the new year with a 6:15 p.m. first post. Seating at the Top Of The Fair is filling up quickly. To make a reservation call (519)-438-7203 (ext. 252) or email topofthefair@westernfairdistrict.com. For full details on everything happening at The Raceway at Western Fair District, visit www.westernfairdistrict.com. Greg Blanchard

London, October 20, 2017 -- Saulsbrook Peach captured harness racing's inaugural Veterans Classic Pace - part of the first ever Veterans' Classic night held on Friday at The Raceway at Western Fair District. The London oval was playing host to the first-time event which honoured Military Veterans, past and present, in a unique way during the night's 10-race harness racing program. The evening began prior to the race program with opening ceremonies performed by 1st Hussars Military Troop, followed by the official unveiling of the Raceway's new 'Veterans Inspired' winner's circle. Fans also had a chance to meet several veterans and check out the various military vehicles and displays that were on hand throughout the facility. Video tributes were shown between races as well. The inaugural Veterans Classic Pace went in race 7 and it was the Isabelle Darveau trainee Saulsbrook Peach who went wire-to-wire in 1:56. The eight-year-old notched his 23rd career win for driver Robert Shepherd and owner Catheline Pelletier. Live racing resumes at The Raceway this Monday night with a first post of 6:15 p.m. Greg Blanchard      

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