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Racing

Report-setting wagering for Manitoba horse racing

WINNIPEG —
Regardless of shedding tens of millions in income from COVID-19-related closures, Assiniboia Downs ended up within the black for the 2020 horse racing season.

It was an all-time record-setting 12 months for wagering, in keeping with Darren Dunn, the CEO of Assiniboia Downs. He credited the swap from stay in-person racing to promoting the monitor’s stay racing content material to the world.

“Stunning isn’t the precise phrase, surprising is completely the precise phrase. It exceeded our expectations dramatically,” stated Dunn.

When the pandemic compelled the monitor’s doorways to shut, misplaced income from facility leases, eating places, lounges, and VLTs added up into the tens of millions.

“Although we had a excessive quantity in a small margin return for our worldwide wagering it did offset these important losses, and allowed us to have some stability, maintain our heads above water, maintain our doorways open,” Dunn stated. “And positively present some optimism to the horsemen that we have now a brand new path.”

By flipping their advertising and marketing technique and specializing in prospects past the provincial borders, Assiniboia Downs was capable of efficiently develop their consumer base. In truth, Dunn stated, the vast majority of on-line bets got here from viewers in locations outdoors of Manitoba.

The feed was picked up in nations just like the UK and different elements of Europe, however the focus was extra on areas like Australia and South America which match the time zone properly and had been on the lookout for product.

“We’ve nurtured these relationships over this low season, over the winter, and we predict they need to be pretty sticky heading in so we do have conservatively optimistic expectations for a repeat,” Dunn stated.

A fan-free 12 months is deliberate for 2021, utilizing minimal employees and horsemen to tug off race day actions. Nonetheless, Dunn stated they can pivot shortly to in-person racing if situations and public well being orders permit.

Opening day races at Assiniboia Downs had been postponed to Might 24 as a result of worldwide journey restrictions and Manitoba’s quarantine necessities resulted in sudden journey delays for horsemen coming into the province.

At present, everybody arriving in Manitoba should self-isolate for 14 days upon arriving within the province.

Two of the misplaced racing days can be rescheduled to the tip of the racing season.

“When followers meaningfully come again to Assiniboia Downs and people per-cap revenues return I can let you know that we’re optimistic that we are able to take Assiniboia Downs to a complete different degree,” stated Dunn.

                With recordsdata from CTVs Charles Lefebvre

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