Canterbury Revenue: Pari-Mutuel Down, Card Club Up

A 7.3% decline in pari-mutuel revenue contributed to an overall drop in net income in 2005 for Canterbury Park Holding Corp., which owns Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minn.

According to figures released March 28, Canterbury reported net income of $3,053,479 last year, down from $3,862,308 in 2004. Net revenue of $55.2 million in 2005 was up from $54.9 million in 2004.

For the fourth quarter of 2005, the company reported total revenue of $12.1 million, up 2.5% from $11.8 million during the same period in 2004. Net income for the quarter was $830,530, down from $957,066 in the fourth quarter of 2004.

Pari-mutuel revenue for 2005 was $16.5 million, down from $17.8 million in 2004. However, revenue from the track's 24-hour card club, located on the first floor of the clubhouse, totaled $29.6 million last year, up from $28.4 million a year earlier. Company officials attributed that increase to growth in the popularity of poker.

"The decline in pari-mutuel revenues was not unexpected as this reflects the experience of racetracks around the country," Canterbury president Randy Sampson said in a statement. "In particular, Internet wagering on horse racing continues to grow, and this has had a negative impact on our simulcast operations. At the same time, the modest increase in our card club revenues is encouraging given that the state law mandate that we operate no more than 50 tables has made it difficult to accommodate our customers during peak times."

Sampson said Canterbury, whose 69-day live meet runs from May 6-Sept. 4, would continue to seek legislative approval for additional forms of gaming. The company for several years has sought casino gaming tied to an entertainment complex at the property located southwest of Minneapolis-St. Paul.

"We will continue to pursue legislative authorization for additional gaming, which we believe is the best opportunity for long-term growth of Canterbury Park and the horse industry," Sampson said. "We are currently pursuing legislation that would allow more tables for our card club, as well as legislation that would place a proposed amendment of the Minnesota constitution on the November 2006 ballot to authorize electronic gaming and banked card games at the racetrack.

"In addition, we are exploring further development of our 380-acre site in Shakopee. Our property is located in one of the fastest-growing areas in the region, and we believe development opportunities exist that will enable us to enhance the character of Canterbury Park as a unique entertainment complex, grow our revenues, and enhance shareholder value."

Last year, Canterbury offered 68 days of racing. Thoroughbred purses totaled about $9 million; the daily average payout was $132,000. Another $2 million was paid to horses eligible to the Minnesota Breeders' Fund. Canterbury in recent years has been able to increase purses, primarily because of revenue from the card club.

The company said its annual meeting of shareholders would be held June 1 at Canterbury Park.