New racetracks

Find information about obtaining a licence for a new racetrack.


Under the Horse Racing Licensing Act, 2015, the Registrar of Alcohol, Gaming and Racing (Registrar) has the responsibility for issuing licences to all participants in racing, including racetracks.  An applicant seeking to obtain a licence for a new racetrack must submit an application to the Registrar.  Once a licence is granted, an approved Racetrack Association must apply annually to renew its Racetrack Association licence.

Licensing a new racetrack involves a two stage process:

  • Preliminary Approval
    Preliminary approval for a licence is issued by the Registrar once a due diligence investigation of the applicant is complete and the Registrar is satisfied as to the suitability of the applicant. Preliminary approval licence issuance with terms and conditions must be agreed to by the applicant.
  • Final Approval
    Final approval for a licence is issued once the Registrar is satisfied that the terms and conditions of the initial licence, issued at the time of Preliminary Approval, have been met.

A staged process allows the Registrar to maintain regulatory control over the longer term project of developing and building a racetrack. Preliminary Approval in no way guarantees that Final Approval will be granted and, at any stage in the process, the Registrar can make the decision not to proceed with an application.

Preliminary Approval

Applicants file a Letter of Intent with the Registrar indicating their intent to open a new racetrack. The Registrar will supply the applicant with the required forms and information to be submitted as part of the application process.

Once all materials have been submitted, and the applicant has undergone a due diligence investigation satisfactory to the Registrar, the Registrar will make a decision regarding the Preliminary Approval of the applicant. Applicants who are approved will receive Preliminary Approval to Operate a Racetrack. Preliminary Approval is issued in the form of a letter and will stipulate certain terms and conditions that must be met before a Final Approval for a Licence to Operate a Racetrack will be issued. The terms and conditions of the Preliminary Approval must also be agreed upon by the applicant.

At this time, information regarding Preliminary Approval of the proposed racetrack will be circulated to the industry for input. The purpose of the public circulation is to provide the Registrar with further information in arriving at the decision to grant Final Approval.

Final Approval

The applicant will work with the Registrar and the AGCO administration to satisfy the terms and conditions set out in the Letter of Preliminary Approval. At any time, the Registrar may require further filings, as necessary to confirm the suitability of the applicant for licensing.

Final Approval for a licence is issued in the form of a letter and will stipulate certain terms and conditions that must be agreed to by the applicant.

Full details of the process of applying for a new Racetrack Association licence can be found in the document entitled “New Racetrack Licensing Process”.

Contacts for Racetrack Licensing

To request additional details on applying for a new Racetrack Association licence, please contact:

Jessica Harvie – Senior Eligibility Officer
Phone: (437) 788-5391