Woodbine Protests Canadian Pari-Mutuel Action

Woodbine Entertainment Wednesday issued a strong rebuke to the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency's (CPMA) decision to ban North American bets such as the superfecta and pick four in the wake of the Breeders' Cup Ultra Pick Six scandal.

A memo released Tuesday by the CPMA announced the change in Canadian wagering policy.

Woodbine protested the CPMA action, which it said was done without racetrack consultation.

"This is inconsistent with the approach in the U.S. where an industry task force appointed security specialists from Ernst & Young to address pool security concerns in totalisator systems," said a company press release. "Woodbine Entertainment has adopted all taskforce recommendations issued to date and has committed to review future findings for their applicability to Canada.

"Woodbine Entertainment is committed to operating its business in a manner that ensures the integrity of the wagering process. We wish to be involved with other industry partners in the process to guarantee the security of current wagering systems."

Woodbine estimates the CPMA regulations could cost Canadian wagering pools more than $1 billion, causing a significant reduction in racetrack revenue and purses.

"This bureaucratic knee-jerk reaction to the Pick 6 investigation in the United States is, in my opinion, not a reasonable or progressive response to this serious issue," said Steve Mitchell, vice president of wagering operations for Woodbine Entertainment. "My understanding of the CPMA's mission is to protect the betting public, not deprive them of wagering opportunities."

A meeting of Canadian track representatives and CPMA officials will be held Friday morning in Ottawa , Mitchell added.