TORONTO, June 25 - A healthy horse racing industry is dependent, first and foremost, on the financial viability of racetracks which provide the venue for the racing product. With respect to the report, It's All about Leadership Strategic Vision and Direction for the Ontario Horse Racing and Breeding Industry, Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) believes that while there are some interesting and thought-provoking suggestions, its recommendations are entirely impractical, unrealistic and unworkable from a financial perspective. Racetracks simply would not be able to internally finance their operations or obtain bank financing.
"The report recognized WEG's flagship role in the Ontario horse racing industry," stated David Willmot, Chair and CEO. "Ironically, if the recommendations were implemented, WEG would immediately lapse into a substantial loss position. As a not-for-profit company financed entirely by debt, WEG would breach its banking covenants and would not be able to obtain future financing. Notwithstanding that the report is well intentioned in attempting to provide a strategic direction for the Ontario Horse Racing and Breeding Industry, the effect of its recommendations would devastate the second largest agricultural sector in the Province, which generates 55,000 jobs.
WEG trusts that the Province will recognize the short-comings of the report and looks forward to working with the Government on strategies which will ensure the long-term viability of this significant industry."
Woodbine Entertainment Group is the largest operator of horse racing in Canada and is recognized as one of the most innovative in North America. Woodbine operates Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto ON; Mohawk Racetrack in Campbellville, ON, the Champions Off-Track Wagering Network; Turf Lounge; WEGZ Stadium Bar; Horse Player Interactive and HPItv.