WEG has also changed its strategy for its network TV offerings. Its new Bet Night Live show, aired nationally on The Score on Monday and Wednesday nights, is reaching out to the younger male gambler, who may not have yet discovered betting on horses.
The show engages viewers with an interactive online betting contest, the first of its kind on TV.
The shift has produced strong results already, as TV ratings for the programme have far exceeded the numbers produced in the past.
The casual fan was also treated to an outstanding show in July, with the presence of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, for the 151st running of the Queen’s Plate at Woodbine. A picture-perfect afternoon of racing, pomp and pageantry greeted over 32,000 fans on-track, resulting in record-setting wagering numbers and 765,000 viewers tuning in to the CBC’s 90-minute national HD broadcast of the race, won by Big Red Mike.
WEG is also set to break ground on its ambitious Woodbine Live! project. The multi-functional retail/entertainment complex goes beyond the traditional concepts offered up by companies running horse racing.
Partnering with The Cordish Company, Woodbine Live! will be built on part of the nearly 700 acres of Woodbine property, adjacent to the track and grandstand. The destination-type venture will add millions of visitors to the site annually and will further generate exposure to the racing business.
Over the years, WEG, which received the 2009 Top Choice Award as Entertainment Complex of the Year, has been recognized for its achievements in facility and customer excellence, corporate citizenship and environmental sustainability.
WEG is the only not-for-profit corporation that is a member of Imagine Canada, a national program that promotes public and corporate giving, volunteerism and support to the community. The benchmark of membership and the recognition of being “a caring company” is donating 1 per cent of pre-tax profits to charities. WEG exceeds the requirement and donates in excess of 3 per cent of net revenues annually to charities.
Although WEG understands there are challenges that lie ahead, it is determined with a clear mandate to capitalize on these opportunities and grow the business.
Visit www.woodbineentertainment.com for information.
Tony Infilise has a four-step plan to restore horse racing to Quebec.
Infilise is Chairman of the Quebec Jockey Club (QJC); a not-for-profit organization comprised of business people who volunteer. The organization was formed in June of 2009.
They attempted to purchase the business from the previous owners of the provincial horse racing industry that went bankrupt last year, but were unsuccessful in their attempt to keep horse racing from grounding to a halt.
All racing in province stopped in October of 2009 along with all Internet and off-track betting.
According to Infilise, the Quebec Jockey Club has begun the process of resuscitating standard bred horse racing and para mutual betting on standard bred and thoroughbred horse racing.
“Phase one of the plan began earlier this year, when in March, QJC launched Pointe Claire Interactive in partnership with Woodbine Entertainment Group,” says Infilise.
Phase two is to get off-track betting restarted and in order to do that, certain provincial regulations have to be changed and approval from the provincial RAJC commission and from the Canadian Para mutual Agency are required. “We expect that to be operational before the end of this year,” says Infilise.
Phase three involves bringing live racing back to the province and Infilise says they are planning 16 programs, which began in late June, that include six fair races and 10 live race dates in the Fall at Hippdrome du Quebec in Quebec City. He says he expects more than 50 races to be held in 2011.
“Ultimately our plan is to have a new racetrack in the Greater Montreal Area and that is what I would call Phase four,” he says. “The true restart of standard bred racing will come in 2011 in Quebec.”
Visit www.clubjockeyduquebec.com for information.
In response to a request from the B.C. horse racing industry, the Minister asked the Assistant Deputy Minister/General Manager responsible for gaming to assist in revitalizing the management of the industry by establishing the B.C. Horse Racing Industry Revitalization Initiative.
The B.C. Horse Racing Industry Management Committee was created on November 17, 2009 to provide strategic direction, decision-making and business leadership to the horse racing industry in B.C.
Horse racing operators, associations and participants will continue to make operational decisions consistent with their mandated responsibilities, but are to do so within the broad business and fiscal framework established by the Committee.
The regulation of horse racing events in B.C. remains the responsibility of the provincial government. Since its inception, the B.C. Horse Racing Industry Management Committee has:
Concluded a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with key industry participants that formally endorse the establishment of the Horse Racing Industry Management Committee, effective January 1, 2010. The MOA provides full authority to the Management Committee to provide strategic leadership for the business of horse racing in British Columbia and overall management of the industry, including the allocation of funding to industry sectors and making decisions that will help increase the viability of horse racing in the province.
Developed and implemented an entirely new, simplified, transparent and accountable financial model that moves the management of industry revenues under the control of the committee. (See Industry Financial Model below)
Allocated anticipated 2010 revenue to critical industry purposes and organizations.
Drafted a new horse racing industry marketing plan which, once it is complete and when it is implemented, is intended to grow the attendance at, and revenues generated from, horse racing in B.C.
Visit www.hsd.gov.bc.ca/gaming/horse-racing/revitalization.htm for information.