March 16, 2017 – As part of Moving Ahead: Horse Racing Regulation in Ontario project, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is pleased to announce an initial series of rule changes and policy reforms stemming from an extensive engagement effort to modernize the agency’s regulatory approach and better support Ontario’s horse racing industry.
Over the past nine months, the AGCO has engaged with over 150 individuals and organizations from across Ontario’s horse racing industry, including participants from all three breeds, racetracks, equine welfare specialists, veterinarians, and horse players as part of a comprehensive review of the AGCO’s approach to horse racing regulation.
A key objective of the stakeholder engagement process was to ensure we had discussions and worked with a wide range of industry participants on key regulatory challenges and potential areas for reform within the AGCO mandate. A more detailed account of the engagement process and our comprehensive Findings Report, which was released on February 16, 2017, and can be found here on the ‘Moving Ahead’ project page on the AGCO Web site. These reforms include:
- Standardbred Race Coupling
- New Approach to Jockey Conflicts of Interest
- Increasing Quarter Horse Jockey Weights
- Elimination of Directives for Triactor and Superfecta Field Size
- Changes to the Human Alcohol and Drug Program
- AGCO Official Race Reports and Twitter – Pilot Project
- Establishment of a Rules Advisory Committee
- Enhanced Compliance News and Information for Licensees
- Fractional Ownership – Clarifying and Aligning Rules across all Breeds
- Extreme Weather Standard for Race Cancellations
- Racetrack Concussion Protocol Standard
These reforms were developed with stakeholder input and – to the extent possible– were consensus-based to ensure policy changes are practical, implementable, and make sense for the industry.