The Ontario Legislature passed a motion to continue the Slots at Racetracks Program beyond the cancellation deadline imposed by the Liberals. In addition, the motion called for the suspension of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s gaming modernization plan until municipal referendums can be held in 2014.
The motion, put forward by Essex MPP Tara Natyshak, received the full cooperation of The Progressive Conservatives and the New Democratic Party and was approved with 53 votes to 33 Liberals against. However, because of the verbiage this motion in non-binding and is simply a suggestion that the government follow this course of action. Whether the Liberals will agree is unclear.
The text of Natyshak’s motion is as follows:
That, in the opinion of this House, the following principles should be immediately applied to the Province’s gaming policy:
1) Implementation of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s transformation of gaming strategy be suspended until after the 2014 Ontario municipal elections in order to allow municipalities wanting to be a host site for a casino to undertake a referendum on the issue on the 2014 ballot;
2) A panel, composed of representatives nominated by the three recognized parties, be tasked with hearing from stakeholders and drafting fair spending limits for parties taking part in the referendum on casinos;
3) Changes to the Slots at the Racetracks partnership be frozen, in order to enable the horseracing industry to continue to operate while the government engages the industry in a robust consultation with the goal of ensuring its survival, stability and growth; and
4) Current funds from unclaimed purses due to racetrack closures be made available to local or community race tracks. Filed March 18, 2013.