Fort Erie disappointed by broken promise for slots at the race track

Residents of the town of Fort Erie are disappointed about the race track’s deal with the province to receive money instead of bringing back slots.

The town’s mayor calls it a back room deal.

Those at the Fort Erie Race Track say it’s a broken promise.

“Ford promised to bring them here and this place needs a little employment around here.”

In his election campaign Premier Doug Ford promised slots at the Fort Erie Race Track but instead of the machines, the Fort Erie Live Racing Consortium opted for money from the government. A decision Mayor Wayne Redekop says Town Council was kept in the dark about.

“Well it was discussed behind closed doors. Its disrespectful of the council and the town of Fort Erie and the residents of the town of Fort Erie.”

CHCH Political Analyst Keith Leslie agrees.

Fort Erie Live Racing consortium promises it made the best deal possible, but the amount of money the race track will be receiving instead of the slots is confidential. The deal with the province was made under a non- disclosure agreement. Leslie says this is because the Ford Government is still working up deals with other tracks across Ontario.

“You don’t want the next race track across the line to know exactly what was on the table there they want to negotiate with each of them privately.”

Redekop says council has been fighting for these slots, and feels as though this deal is a missed opportunity for the town.

“First of all it provides jobs for the community, which is very important.second of all its an attractor to bring people to the track.”

Many in the community agree, saying the town’s job market would benefit from having the slots.

The Mayor says over 200 full time jobs were lost in 2013 when the slot machines were taken from the race track. They were anticipating to get those jobs back.