Canterbury Racing

Canterbury Racing

Courtesy of Canterbury Park

Canterbury Income Up Despite Turmoil in 2011

The Minnesota racetrack had to suspend operations because of a government shutdown.

Canterbury Park Holding Corp., despite temporary shutdown of operations last summer at Canterbury Park, reported positive financial figures for 2011 and the fourth quarter of last year.

Net income for the Minnesota-based company was $397,667 in 2011, compared with a net loss of $992,206 in 2010, according to its latest financial report. Net income for the fourth quarter of last year was $305,036, up from $161,279 for the final three months of 2010.

Net revenue for the year was up 1.7% because of a 5.5% increase in revenue at the Canterbury Park card club, officials said. Fourth-quarter revenue increased 11.9% from 2010.

Operating expenses in 2011 were $39.5 million compared with $41.2 million in 2010. The company said the decrease “is partially attributable to reduced live meet expenses in 2011 because the company was forced to suspend its operations during the July shutdown of Minnesota government, as well as continued management of operating expenses throughout the year. In addition, 2010 operating expenses included a one-time charge related to remodeling our card casino of $909,540.”

Canterbury Park president Randy Sampson said that given the circumstances in 2011 and the ongoing challenges the track faces because of competition from full-scale gaming at Indian casinos, the numbers are good.

“The company believes the economic recovery has encouraged increased consumer spending on entertainment options such as our card casino and simulcast wagering,” Sampson said in a statement accompanying the earnings report. “We also believe fourth-quarter results benefited from mild winter weather in contrast to the severe winter weather in late 2010 that discouraged visits to our facility and forced the cancellation of many race days at other racetracks simulcasting their signal to Canterbury Park.

“Our business continues to be challenged by many factors, including competition from Native American casinos that are able to offer a wider variety of gaming products, competition from out-of-state racetracks where pari-mutuel horse racing is supported by revenues from other forms of wagering, and illegal Internet wagering. We are, therefore, continuing to vigorously advocate for legislation that would authorize Canterbury to offer slot machines and other forms of gaming at the racetrack.”

It was recently reported racetrack gaming legislation stalled again in the Minnesota legislature, but Sampson indicated Canterbury will continue to lobby for passage.

“Bills are currently under consideration in the Minnesota legislature, and, while we can give no assurance that the legislation we favor will be enacted into law this year, we will continue to communicate and promote our vision at the Minnesota legislature.”

The 2012 live racing season at Canterbury begins May 18 and ends Sept. 3.