The opening of the 2014 Thoroughbred season at Hastings Racecourse April 27 will officially mark the 125th anniversary of racing in the Canadian province of British Columbia.
Phil Heard, who joined Hastings Park as general manager in April of 2000, resigned on Tuesday.
Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, through one of its subsidiaries 686486 BC Ltd., has completed its purchase of Hastings Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, in a $20.1 million deal.
Hastings Park, which was put up for sale in February by parent company Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG), already has a buyer.
Hastings Park is for sale. The Vancouver racetrack that was purchased by Woodbine Entertainment Group in 2002 apparently isn't performing as well as its parent company had hoped, even though attendance and wagering have increased since it changed hands.
Hastings Park opens its 71-day live season April 17. The track has scheduled two more live racing days than last season and purses have increased nearly 15% over last year.
Fraser Downs, a British Columbia Standardbred track located not far from Hastings Park, received approval Dec. 16 to install slot machines. The Surrey City Council will schedule a fourth reading on the measure and approve final documents in a few weeks, the track said in a press release.
Hastings Park officials were hopeful slot machines could be installed at the racetrack sometime next summer. However, after a Vancouver city council vote on Tuesday night, installing slots at the racetrack is still on hold.
Hastings Park recently concluded its 2004 meet with a minor dip in on-track handle figures, and an 8.5% drop in all-source handle.
The Vancouver city council has lifted its ban on slots, which means, if things progress as expected, Hastings Park racetrack could install as many as 900 slot machines by this time next year.
Representatives from Hastings Park will find out July 24 if slot machines will be allowed in the city of Vancouver.
The meet-end figures at Hastings Park showed a 29.7% increase in purses and nearly 6% upswing in total handle.
A British Columbia Standardbred track piqued the community's interest with radio advertisements that parodied phone sex, but the campaign won't be back next season. That's not to say the campaign wasn't successful, though.
The Ontario Jockey Club has announced a deal to buy Hastings Park Racecourse and build 10 off-track betting parlors in metropolitan Vancouver in partnership with two other British Columbia racetracks.
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