Woodbine Entertainment Group announced Wednesday that it has acquired through its subsidiary, Hastings Entertainment Inc., "substantially all" of the assets of Pacific Racing Association, which operates Hastings Park in Vancouver, Canada.
Woodbine Entertainment Group is the largest operator of horse racing in Canada. It operates Woodbine Racetrack and Mohawk Racetrack, both located in Ontario. The acquisition of Hastings will give Woodbine Entertainment over 50 percent of the horse racing wagering market in Canada, according to a Wednesday press release.
We are pleased to be participating in racing in British Columbia," said David Willmot, Woodbine Entertainments chairman and chief executive officer. "The sport has a wonderful heritage here. There is an opportunity over the next few years to build upon the breeding and racing heritage in the province and turn horse racing into a major league sporting and entertainment activity. We will begin the process by establishing several teletheatres on the lower mainland which will bring the racing product close to home for thousands of people. This will take several months but it is a vital part of the business plan to make racing in BC healthy for all participants."
Phil Heard, Hasting's general manager under the Pacific Racing Association, will be retained as president and general manager of Hastings Entertainment. Jim Ormiston, Woodbine Entertainment's executive vice president and COO, will be the chairman of the board of Hastings Entertainment. In an effort to rejuvenate racing and breeding in the area, Kentucky-based bloodstock adviser Dan Kenny has been hired as an advisor.
The current live racing season at Hastings runs through Nov. 3.