The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario’s (AGCO) core regulatory functions related to horse racing in Ontario include licensing, officiating, investigations and inspection activities. The AGCO oversees the province’s racetracks and teletheatres. The agency appointments racetrack officials and other persons whose duties relate to the actual running of horse races. The AGCO also establishes and enforces the Rules of Racing.

The AGCO’s approach to horse racing regulation aims to ensure fairness and safety in racing, while also serving to support a modern and thriving industry. The AGCO has practices and procedures in place that focus on integrity and safety in horse racing, including:

  • In partnership with the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency (CPMA), post-race equine drug testing, out-of-competition drug testing, and inspections to ensure appropriate use of therapeutic drugs. In order to prevent the misuse of equine drugs:
    • The CPMA establishes equine drug elimination guidelines, and tests official samples taken from equine athletes;
    • AGCO Race Officials determine which horses are called for testing;
    • The CPMA, upon testing, provides positive results to provincial regulators such as the AGCO; and,
    • AGCO Race Officials and inspectors conduct reviews of positive tests, inspections, and determine penalties and suspensions, as per the AGCO Rules of Racing.
  • Veterinary presence during race days, conducting pre-race exams;
  • Legislative protection of racehorses to prevent neglect and abuse;
  • In-race specific rules, such as interference and over-urging; and,
  • Accident and death reviews and inspections

This portal is intended for members of the general public who are interested in learning more about the AGCO’s horse racing regulatory functions in Ontario.  

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