Canadian Regulators Nix Guaranteed Pick Six Pools

Plans by Woodbine Entertainment to offer a guaranteed Pick Six wagering during the month of September have been nixed by the Canadian government's regulatory body.

Steve Mitchell, vice president of wagering operations for Woodbine Entertainment, reported that Thane Bell, director of policy and planning for Canadian Pari-Mutuel Association, advised him the Pick Six is permitted but adding money into the pool is not.

"They agree that customers probably won't complain if the track guarantees the pool but that didn't change their minds," said Mitchell. "Despite the fact it's done every day in the United States and despite the fact we did it a few years ago during our Festival of Racing, we're told 'no'."

Mitchell said the inability to offer guaranteed Pick Six pools places Woodbine at a competitive disadvantage with tracks in the U.S.

"It's frustrating not being able to compete on a level playing field across North America," said Mitchell. "In order to prevent more and more customers placing their wagers outside Canada, either by phone or Internet, our regulators should be more proactive and help our industry remain competitive. We believe current legislation does not prevent tracks adding money into a pool, especially when the public will benefit from this type of promotion. Customers have told us that guaranteeing a minimum pool is critical. There's no point introducing the Pick Six without the guarantee."