Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario

As of April 1, 2016 the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has assumed responsibility for the regulation of horse racing in Ontario. The staff and regulatory functions of the Ontario Racing Commission have been merged into the AGCO.

Established February 23, 1998, the AGCO regulates the sale, service, and consumption of beverage alcohol and ensures that casino gaming, charitable gaming, lotteries and horse racing are conducted in the public interest, by people who are socially and financially responsible.

To maintain the integrity of racing and to protect the public interest, in 1950 the Government of Ontario established the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC).  The purpose of this Crown agency was to govern, direct, control and regulate the horseracing industry in Ontario in all its forms.

Over the course of its proud history, the ORC became known as a world-class regulator and developer of best practices. It had a long established record of its efforts to advance the welfare of the racehorse, and was one of the first North American racing jurisdictions to mandate mandatory reporting of racehorse deaths.

The ORC also gained international recognition for its leadership role in developing new approaches to proactive investigation and regulation practices.  Most significantly, it was an organization that proactively responded to industry needs and the changes affecting the regulation of horse racing.

In 2015, the Government of Ontario introduced legislation – the Horse Racing Licence Act – that moved to integrate horse racing into the province’s gaming strategy. This included the transfer of the regulatory responsibilities for horse racing from the ORC to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).
The result of the merger is that the oversight of horse racing continues.  Through an integrated regulatory model, using best practices from the AGCO and the long history and traditions of the ORC, the welfare of the animal, safety of the participant, and protection of the public interest will be maintained.

Alcohol and Gaming Commission – Rules of Thoroughbred Racing 2016

The Rules of Racing are printed on an annual or bi-annual basis.  The most current edition was produced effective April 1, 2016.   Changes to the rules are enacted through a Directive issued by the Board of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission (AGCO).    Licensees are reminded to check the AGCO website or AGCO Head office periodically for any new Directives.   To access the April 20th, 2019 updated copy of the Rules of Thoroughbred Racing click here.

Licensing with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission

Any individual or business actively involved in horse racing must be licensed by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission. This includes owners of race horses, trainers, drivers and jockeys, grooms, anyone requiring access to the backstretch or paddock of the racetrack, pari-mutuel clerks and management staff of the racetrack. The business that operates the racetrack must also be licensed and must apply to license any off-track sites, otherwise known as teletheatres.

Are you interested in obtaining a Thoroughbred license the first step is to complete the AGCO’s application.

  •  To download the Thoroughbred License application please click here.
  •  To download the Authorized Agent application click here.
  •  To download the Registration of Colours application click here.

Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency

The Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency (CPMA) is a Special Operating Agency within Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada that regulates and supervises pari-mutuel betting on horse racing at racetracks across Canada, thereby ensuring that pari-mutuel betting is conducted in a way that is fair to the public.

The Agency is funded through the collection of a levy of 0.8% on each bet placed in Canada.Equine Drug Control Program

Equine Drug Control Program

There are many drugs and medications that, if administered to a horse, could affect the outcome of a race. The CPMA provides an Equine Drug Control Program that is designed to deter the uncontrolled use of drugs or medication in race horses participating in pari-mutuel races.

Urine or blood samples are collected from horses before or after a race and are analyzed at a laboratory contracted by the CPMA.

When a prohibited substance in a sample is detected the results are reported to the appropriate provincial regulatory body for enforcement action.

Schedules of Drugs

The Schedule of Drugs  compiles years of research carried out by the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, through the Drug Control Surveillance Program of the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency (CPMA) on equine drug administrations involving standardbred mares.   The CMPA recently released the 2016 Schedule of Drugs which is now available for pick up through our HBPA Offices, clicking the above link or by calling the CPMA using the phone number listed below.

The booklet provides information on elimination guidelines of some common veterinary drugs. It contains charts indicating the approximate length of time that some drugs can be detected in the blood and urine of horses. The approximate nature of the data presented is stressed. Drug absorption and elimination are influenced by many factors, including the horse (age, sex, etc.), its environment (diet, training, etc.) and the drug (dosage, drug mixture, etc.). The dosage of a drug may vary with different preparations and manufacturers. Therefore, it is recommended to read the label of the product before use. Taking all factors into consideration, individual horses may have longer or shorter periods of elimination. Trainers/owners should consult with their veterinarian for advice and guidance in the administration of drugs to their horse.

The guidelines in the booklet may not be consistent with foreign regulations and laboratory methods.

To request a copy of  2011 Schedule of Drugs, please contact: CPMA  1130 Morrison Drive Suite 100  Ottawa On  K2H 9N6,                     Telephone: 613-949-0735 / Fax: 613-949-0750  /Email:

The Jockey Club of Canada

The Jockey Club of Canada was incorporated on 23rd Day of October 1973 by the first Directors, Edward Plunket Taylor, Charles Baker and John J. Mooney.

The mandate of the organization is:

1. Promote improvements in breeding, raising and racing of Thoroughbred horses throughout Canada.

2. To improve the quality of Thoroughbred racing in Canada for the benefit of the quality of Thoroughbred racing in Canada for the benefit of all  those interested in the sport, including the public.

3. To promote and encourage outstanding races for Thoroughbred horses not only against Canadian competition but against horses bred and raised in other countries and generally to promote Canadian Thoroughbred racing in Canada and internationally.

The Jockey Club of Canada organizes and hosts the Annual Sovereign Awards, honouring outstanding achievement in Thoroughbred racing and breeding.  Next to winning the Queen’s Plate, to win this Award is to win the most prestigious honour in Canadian Thoroughbred racing.  Please visit to view the extensive list of award recipients.

The Jockey Club of Canada is actively involved in promoting Thoroughbred racing and is constantly looking for new investors.  If you are not already an Owner of a Thoroughbred race horse and are interested in becoming one we suggest that you attend a New Owner Seminar hosted by the organization.  Please visit for a list of upcoming dates or by contacting the Jockey Club of Canada by phone at 416-675-7756 or by email at

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