POLITICS

All bets are full on: Saskatchewan to end taxes on horse-racing wagers

10/10/2012 01:10 EDT | Updated 12/10/2012 05:12 EST
REGINA - The Saskatchewan government will eliminate a tax it collects on horse-racing bets starting March 31.

Donna Harpauer (HAR'-pow-er), minister responsible for the province's liquor and gaming authority, says that will leave more revenue for the industry.

The 10 per cent levy, known as a peri-mutuel tax, is collected from every wager at horse-racing tracks in the province and raised $857,000 last year.

It also applies to bets Saskatchewan residents make on races outside the province.

There were concerns about whether the industry could survive after the gaming commission announced earlier this year that it was cutting $1.5 million in grants.

The operator of Marquis (MAHR'-kwiss) Downs in Saskatoon says he's pleased the government has listened to the industry's concerns.

"Horse racing has been a fixture in Saskatoon for more than 40 years and the elimination of this tax creates a more positive business environment that will allow us to continue to provide exciting racing entertainment," said Mark Regier, CEO of Prairieland Park Corp.