David Willmot shared his opinions on everything from slot machines to the relationship between purses and handle at Wednesday night's Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers' Club meeting.
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.
The debate over pricing, rebating, and computer betting has put the pari-mutuel industry at odds with some of its best customers, and judging from the latest exchange of opinions and statistics, it could be some time before the situation is resolved.
The Canadian Justice Department is investigating Woodbine Entertainment Group's new online wagering site that critics contend violates the law and should be shut down.
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.
After three straight years of gain in handle, due in part to the addition of slot machines in 2000, Woodbine reported a 4.5% drop in handle for its 2003 meet. The Ontario oval ended its 162-day meet on Nov. 30.
Operators of racetracks with gaming devices continue to look for ways to drive pari-mutuel handle, but they admit converting slots players to handicappers is a long-term challenge.
Canada's largest outdoor advertising company has agreed to sponsor the Canadian International (Can-IT) for the next three years.
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.
Woodbine Entertainment Group, which operates Thoroughbred and Standardbred meets, is considering a purchase or lease of Meadowlands, another dual-breed facility, according to a published report.
In the wake of the New York Racing Association's announcement it would require starters in the June 7 Belmont Stakes to be in a "stakes barn" about 24 hours before the race, officials at two major dual-breed racetracks said detention, or retention, has achieved its goals but continues to be assessed on a regular basis.
Scientific Games Corp. announced fourth quarter financial results (year ending Dec. 31, 2002) Feb. 28 and reported a 10% gain in revenue for the quarter.
Woodbine Entertainment Group has announced that Steve Lym has been appointed the company's Thoroughbred racing secretary.
A threatened boycott at Woodbine by the Ontario Harness Horsemen's Association (owners and trainers) was averted Monday when both sides in a dispute over simulcasting agreed to extend their existing contract for 90 days while resuming talks.
The meet-end figures at Hastings Park showed a 29.7% increase in purses and nearly 6% upswing in total handle.
Woodbine Entertainment Group announced Thursday that a purse increase at Woodbine will go into effect Sunday.
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, in suburban Toronto, has joined the National Thoroughbred Racing Association NTRA, it was announced Thursday.
Woobine Entertainment Group has extended its telephone wagering services to patrons of the Flamboro Downs harness track, about 40 miles south of Toronto.
Woodbine Race Course reported a 14% increase in average daily handle driven by a substantial increase in purses and field size.
The Fasig-Tipton Sales Co. is returning to Canada. After a 12-year hiatus, the Lexington-based company has been asked to run the annual yearling sale at Woodbine Racetrack. Canadian Thoroughbred industry leaders hope the change will bring some stability and growth to the breeding and sales markets.
The OJC on Friday changed its name to Woodbine Entertainment Group, and also unveilved a new Web site that reflects the change. In a prepared statement, WEG said the new name better reflects the scope of the company and its business.
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