Emerald Downs will become the first Thoroughbred track in the United States to conduct common pool pari-mutuel wagering with Canada on Thursday evening.Three separate Canadian racing entities began betting directly into pools at the Auburn, Wash., racetrack on the eight-race program. Hastings Park in Vancouver, B.C., Fraser Downs in Surrey, B.C. and Assiniboia Downs in Winnipeg, MB are the three new additions. "We've had a lot of Canadian racing fans for a long time who have had to bet into the separate pools," said Susie Sourwine, vice president of marketing for Emerald Downs. "We're really excited to bring them in directly, and we think it will let our business grow."
Under previous regulations, bettors in Canada were prohibited from wagering into U.S. pools. Congress passed an international tax bill last fall that clarified the 30% alien withholding provision, paving the way for Canadian tracks to bet directly into U.S. pools.Emerald Downs also introduced racing from Japan this season. On June 4, three races were simulcast including the $2 million (US) Yasuda Kinen (Jpn-I), the second leg of the new Asian Mile Challenge.