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Monday, April 8, 2013

Plan for the Future, Don't Live in the Past

When will Ontario racing supporters allow SARP to rest in peace?  As John Snobelen advises racing in an editorial piece, it is time for racing to look forward and not live in the past.  While I do find Sobelen's editorial a little too optimistic for racing, SARP is dead, finished and it isn't coming back so racing better make lemonade with the lemons it has been handed.

From what I have read, while both opposition parties criticize what the Liberals have done, other than the NDP proposing a non-binding resolution, neither party supports the return of SARP.  Yet it seems some racing supporters are living on hope that SARP will rise again.  While these dreamers will take a long time to accept reality, Standardbred Canada is helping these dreamers maintain their fantasy of some white knight coming back to restore SARP. 

For example, on today's website, SC has as a lead story about a bill being offered by the Progressive Conservatives (is there such a thing?) being debated on Wednesday which will mandate the Auditor General look into whether the government acted properly in cancelling SARP.  Does anyone at Standardbred Canada realize what the real goal of this proposal is?  It's about embarrassing the Liberal Party before the next election (assuming the report will be completed before the next election).  Even if the Auditor General finds the OLG didn't do things properly, it isn't going to bring back SARP.  By leading with these stories, Standardbred Canada is giving its members false hope.  I realize this story is of interest to its members, but SC would best serve its interests and their members' interests in de-emphasizing the story.

If you want to be angry at the OLG and the Liberals for what they did, fine; take it out on them come the next election.  But for racing in the province to have any real future, racing needs to separate this anger from what happens next and work towards making racing as desirable as possible in the future.  Ontario racing interests have something going for them that American states don't have, tracks operated by non-profit agricultural societies; groups whose mission is to promote agriculture.  If they live by their mission statements, you have an ally in making racing work whereas in the states, most racino tracks would be all to happy to give racing the boot.  This is your strength, partners willing to work with you.

Don't forget, but move on racing.  Plan for the future, don't live in the past.


I must confess, I am surprised no one has stepped up to challenge the constitutionality of the New Jersey law which authorizes online gaming in New Jersey on the grounds it violates the state's constitutional ban on casino gambling outside of Atlantic City.  Yes, I know the argument since the servers will be located in Atlantic City, the law allegedly meets constitutional muster, but I honestly thought by now someone; a group against gambling in general, would have taken the state to court over the law.  Go figure.

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