Evaluation of Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency - Summary
About the Evaluation
- This evaluation reports on the relevance, effectiveness, and efficiency of the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency, focusing on results achieved from April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2018.
- The evaluation used multiple lines of evidence including document and literature review, secondary data analysis, survey, site visits and interviews to assess program activities.
What we found
- The horse racing industry is a significant component of the entertainment industry in Canada, with Canadians placing over $1-billion annually in wagers on horse races being hosted in Canada or in other countries. These betting activities are subject to strict rules established in the Criminal Code. The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is responsible to support the proper enforcement of these rules, which is achieved through the activities undertaken by the CPMA.
- The provinces and the CPMA play complementary roles in overseeing horse racing activities in Canada, and the evaluation found no instance of duplication between the two levels of governments. There is, however, an ongoing need to ensure that industry stakeholders and the general public have an adequate understanding of this division of roles and responsibilities.
Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency
- The CPMA is a special operating agency of the federal government within Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada that is tasked with regulating and supervising pari-mutuel betting in Canada on horse racing to ensure that it is done in a manner that is fair to the public.
- The CPMA has four functional activity areas: operations; equine drug control; policy and planning; and corporate services.
- The CPMA is funded through a 0.8 percent levy on each bet on horse racing placed in Canada. In fiscal year 2017-18, this amounted to $9.9-million.
- From 2013 to 2018, the CPMA issued all appropriate permits, licences, and authorizations requested by race courses and betting theatres operating in Canada, and proceeded with the required inspections and testing of tote systems.
- The CPMA implemented a risk-based monitoring model that relied predominantly on remote monitoring activities. This new system led to efficiencies, but also to some uncertainties among industry stakeholders as to the extent of monitoring activities undertaken by the CPMA.
- The CPMA has successfully implemented an incorporation by reference model, which expands the range of pari-mutuel products that can be offered to the Canadian betting public.
- The CPMA operates a rigorous Equine Drug Control Program that directly contributes to the integrity of betting activities occurring during horse races held in Canada. The Program continues to participate in research activities to ensure that testing activities adapt to the emerging drugs being used in the industry.
- The CPMA has undertaken a range of initiatives that support an efficient delivery of its programs and activities, including new technologies that are expected to improve its ongoing interactions with the industry, its monitoring activities, and its drug control activities.
R1: The Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency should develop a plain language communication strategy that considers diversity and inclusiveness components to better support its interactions with industry stakeholders, including communication activities to support a broad awareness and understanding of the remote activities undertaken as part of its risk-based monitoring model.
Management Response: Agreed. Using plain language, the CPMA will develop and implement a communication strategy that reflects the diversity of participants in the horse racing industry and CPMA stakeholders across the country.
R2: The CPMA should refine its performance measurement strategy to align it with opportunities provided through the implementation of its new technological systems.
Management Response: Agreed. The CPMA is developing three new IT systems to better manage its stakeholder authorization processes and regulatory oversight activities. The CPMA will refine its performance measurement strategy as part of the implementation of these systems.
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