Woodbine Entertainment Group announced July 2 that Canadian wagers on Balmoral Park, a Chicago-based harness track, will for the first time be combined with the U.S. host track's pools, giving customers in both countries the same winning payout prices."Canadians will really benefit from this new system," said Steve Mitchell, senior vice president and chief financial officer of Woodbine Entertainment Group. "Combining bets on both sides of the border into a single pool gives our customers larger pools and better pay-outs. Once all states permit this, pay-outs on winning bets should increase by more than $10 million per annum."Illinois and Ohio have both approved common pools with Canada while a few other states including New York and Delaware are considering the issue. Regulators in some key racing states like Florida, California and New Jersey have said they need a number of months to amend their local regulations before accepting Canadian dollar wagers.
Northfield and Hawthorne harness tracks are to follow Balmoral on July 6. Arlington Park is expected to be the first U.S. Thoroughbred common pool track later in July.