Some Ontario racetracks will keep their slot machines, but questions remain about the future of horse racing in the province.

There is some relief at small-town racetracks like those in Woodstock, Clinton and Hanover, that will continue to offer slots. In Hanover, it means 130 jobs will also stay.

Mike Dunlap, CAO for the Town of Hanover, says “Rural Ontario is under the gun, so the more jobs we can keep local, retain and build upon, better for us, better for the entire area.”

But the province’s decision provides no guarantees for the Hanover Raceway, which once got a cut of the revenues from the slots, making the business sustainable.

Gord Dougan, the facility’s general manager, says “It’s nowhere near what we used to have with the revenue sharing agreement where we had ten per cent to operate the building and ten per cent to run the races. That deal is now off the table now.”

How many races are run in 2013 at tracks like those in Woodstock, Clinton and Hanover depends on how much funding the Horse Racing Industry Transitional Panel recommends.

Dougan says “It depends how many racetracks are going. We’ve already heard that Fort Erie, Windsor and Sarnia have shut down and I don’t think there’s any intention of slots staying at those locations, however [The Panel] may decide that racing is need at those sites and they may decide it’s not needed at those sites.”

Dougan will meet with the Transitional Panel in the next few weeks to hear Hanover’s racing fate.

Regardless of the decision it seems the good old days of horse racing in Ontario are gone.