Online Gambling Trend at the Track

Published Friday, April 03, 2009 -

Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Woodbine race track has been around since 1956. Now it is feeling changes in the way people bet on the horses. Officials claim Woodbine Racetrack is losing almost $200 million a year to online gambling. This fact is very disturbing to those who benefit from wagering on the races presented at the track. Another example of the global and better way to place bets with a better chance, say punters, to make bigger money.

Jane Holmes, vice-president of corporate affairs for Woodbine Entertainment Group, formerly known as the Ontario Jockey Club says the current trend to online gambling is difficult to curb.

Holmes said "It has a huge impact. It's not just horse racing wagering. Some people have moved to online poker. Most people think it is kind of legal here, but it isn't. It's just that nobody enforces it." adding, "It continues to be a challenge," Holmes confirmed, Money wagered at the track is put back into the industry, and when bets are placed offshore "the race tracks and horse people don't get any revenue from that. It doesn't generate jobs here. It doesn't contribute to the economy,"

Online betting can offer better payouts to participants because they do not have the large costs associated with operating tracks such as Woodbine. "We can't compete with them because, if we did, we'd lose our racing licences," Holmes repeated. The Greater Toronto Area portion take last year at Woodbine was $866,230 million with an expected slump of 2% for 2009.

"Fifty percent of the commissions we make is put back into purses," "If you start losing handle and wagering, it affects the purses and the revenues the owners make and it has a spin-off effect on the jockeys and everyone else right back to the agricultural community." Ms. Holmes stated.

Woodbine will celebrate the 150th running of the Queen's Plate in June, so there is still time to think about where to place your bets.

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