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Gov’t riding on the wrong horse

Published:Monday | April 8, 2019 | 12:21 AM


Andrew Azar’s passion for Jamaica’s horseracing industry to one day, attain first-world standards, and his strong desire for the unsatisfactory facilities at Caymanas Park to be improved for the jockeys, grooms, patrons, etc is highly commendable.

Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL), the new owner of Caymanas Track Limited (CTL), as stated by Azar, ought to fulfil the plans for CTL that it laid out to the Government of Jamaica, prior to achieving the winning purchasing bid.

Additionally, he, and Member of Parliament Lisa Hanna, are absolutely correct that the Diamond Mile Race Day should not – given CTL’s privatisation – continue to be funded (to the tune of $80 million) by the Government and the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission which began in 2015.

If the Government, using taxpayers’ funds, can sponsor a one-day event for a wholly privately owned entity, then shouldn’t other private-sector companies that stage public events of one kind or another expect and/or be given the same treatment as SVL in that regard?

The Government should, for the sake of good governance, fairness and fiscal prudency, rethink its sponsorship of the Diamond Mile Race Day at Caymanas Park.