The MPP for Ajax-Pickering is downplaying a rumour that the province is planning to close the slots at Ajax Downs.
Joe Dickson said the facility is one of the most important racetracks in Ontario and, while no decision has been made regarding the slots, they’re committed to the continued operation.
“The Premier and I recently met with the parties involved in order to come up with a plan to make that happen,” Dickson said in a statement.
“Since my childhood, I have had an avid interest in horse racing. I recall as a four-year-old walking up the Picov property with my grandmother, where I saw my first horse race. I was hooked and have been involved ever since.”
On Wednesday, a Peterborough newspaper reported that provincial Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Minister Jeff Leal said three gaming sites, including Ajax, would have the slots removed.
Minister of Finance Charles Sousa said no decision have been made on the matter.
“Regardless of what happens, we remain committed to the continued operations of Ajax Downs and Quarter Horse racing in Ontario,” Sousa said in a statement.
“Our government recognizes that horse racing is an important part of Ontario’s heritage and plays an important role in creating jobs in communities all across the province.”
Ajax Mayor Steve Parish said the town plans to fight to keep the casino. He added that this will be a major local issue during the upcoming provincial election.