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Woodbine Entertainment Considers On-Site Sportsbooks

The horse racing leader of Ontario, Woodbine Entertainment has informed last week that is now considering introducing on-site sportsbooks and one-stop shopping for sports bettors. CEO of the company Jim Lawson revealed the plans last week. This way the company will be getting ready to expand its presence in the growing Canadian gaming industry.

Mr. Lawson and the current chief commercial officer of the company Michael Copeland will be making sure that the company has new sources of revenue. This will help out the corporation recover from the effect of the unprecedented situation and also attract some fresh and younger faces to the live harness industry.

New Source of Income

Last Wednesday, on the post-position draw for the 162nd edition of the Queen’s Plate, Mr. Lawson said that the company must find new sources of income and play a new role in the expanding sports wagering industry. The CEO explained that if big-name sportsbooks enter the Canadian markets and offer fixed-odds betting, it could lead to the complete cannibalization of the business, as they would collect all revenue.

Mr. Lawson also noted that he sees the pros of partnering with a sportsbook to bring the focus and attention to the Canadian live harness racing sector. According to him, it will require additional amendments to the Criminal Code, but the fixed odds betting will eventually arrive. He stated that the company and the industry as a whole deserves and is entitled to offer sports wagering.

In the meantime, the company is concentrating on its technology and innovations in order to attract new bettors. It’s the Dark Horse Mobile App was reworked and relaunched for the Queen’s Plate and it will provide offerings for the casual bettors and even the option for artificial intelligence to automatically generate a wager.

Mr. Copeland said that wagering on the app is a great way of placing bets while at home and it is also a catalyst of attracting a younger demographic. In his words, having an application on their phone is much more appealing for the younger ones, and they could even receive notifications whenever their favorite horse or trainer is participating in an event.

162nd Edition of the Queen’s Plate

Speaking of the exciting The Queen’s Plate annual race, the event took place last Sunday. In-person and online spectators witnessed the debuting at the CA$1 million even – Safe Conduct emerged victorious. The son of Bodemeister bested Riptide Rock to victory. The horse trained by Phillip Serpe and owned by WellSpring Stables won by a head and recorded a time of 2:02.85.

Special Guest Stars

The 162nd edition of the highly-anticipated Queen’s Plate stakes also feature special celebrity ambassadors as swimming medalists Penny Oleksiak and Kayla Sanchez took on the roles. This way the company has demonstrated its support and gratitude for the athletes for their performances in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Also, the annual event had a special breakfast hosted by Jason Partuondo.

Source: McAllister, Steve “Woodbine looking into the possibility of on-site sportsbooks, or one-stop shopping for sports bettors”, The Hamilton Spectator, August 20, 2021