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Major National Wagering Initiative Announced


Published: December 21, 2009 1:54 pm ET

Last Comment: December 24, 2009 3:43 pm ET | 5 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Standardbred Canada (SC) and Starting Gate Solutions today announced the formation of Canada One Racing – a major initiative which aims to brand, promote and distribute Canadian harness racing to markets across North America and around the world.

The project, part of Standardbred Canada’s Wagering Action Plan, has been in the works for over a year. Starting Gate Solutions, owned by standardbred horse owner John Marshall, has partnered with SC to bring additional resources, business and sales expertise to the program.

In its initial stages, Canada One will be focused on building new markets in North America and strengthening the number of locations currently importing the Canadian product. In the longer term, Canada One will be the springboard for several new wagering initiatives which will include multi-track jackpot pools, lottery-style wagering, a comprehensive distribution network and even the potential for betting exchange wagering.

Once in full swing the Canada One brand will allow simulcast locations, Account Deposit Wagering outlets, phone and Internet providers the opportunity to offer up to 12 consecutive hours of Canadian harness racing product to their customers daily. As Woodbine Entertainment Group already has a wide and strong distribution network in place, the Canada One program will focus on all harness tracks with the exception of Woodbine and Mohawk racetracks.

“We are very excited about Canada One because we believe it will be a winner for racetracks, horsepeople and most importantly, customers,” said Darryl Kaplan, SC's Manager of Industry Communications. “Several of Canada’s tracks have done an admirable job of marketing their simulcast products, but only through an industry supported comprehensive effort can we make real inroads and reverse the troubling wagering spiral.

“The feedback and support we have received from racetracks, horsemen’s groups and potential simulcast partners has been excellent,” Kaplan said. “We are confident in the team we have and the ability to forge partnerships and move boldly forward.”

According to Marshall, there is an urgency to act. “It is time that private investors who have a passion for horse racing step up and assist in reversing the negative trend in the sport. I have been involved in harness racing for many years and perhaps more importantly I have extensive experience building companies and growing businesses.

“We have put a lot of work into designing and planning Canada One,” he said. “Now we will work tirelessly to execute our plan and drive betting customers back to Canadian harness racing.”

For further information on Canada One Racing, contact Darryl Kaplan ([email protected]), John Marshall ([email protected]), or Mark Hetherman ([email protected]).

December 24, 2009 - 3:43 pmWell said Mr Vicary and spot

Well said Mr Vicary and spot on!!

December 22, 2009 - 1:45 amThree things need to happen

Three things need to happen for the rebirth of harness racing:

1.Track takeouts need to be lowered significantly so that they are attractive enough to be competitive with other gambling venues.It would be nice to beat the thoroughbreds to the punch, so that our average payouts are better.

2.We need a drug testing program with more teeth, more scrutiny in the "insider" wagering,more fines for drivers and trainers who do not give the horse that they have entered the best opportunity to win.In short, integrity has to be pristine, and trusted by the betting public.

3.There needs to be more educational information for the general public, which may mean a more open and honest attitude towards exposing them to the backstretch and all the horsemen and officials.

You can lead them to the track by promoting till your blue in the face and your pockets are empty, but you can't make them bet unless these basics are immediately and urgently addressed.

December 21, 2009 - 7:53 pmGood work guys - a step in

Dave Vicary SAID...

Good work guys - a step in the right direction.

December 21, 2009 - 4:31 pmCongratulations on getting

Allan Schott SAID...

Congratulations on getting this initiative going. It is time that the standardbreds attempt to compete against the runners with regards to coverage. Wish we could get something like this going in the United States.

December 21, 2009 - 2:39 pmSounds Great.... Does this

Carolyn Rae SAID...

Sounds Great.... Does this mean there will be a horse racing TV channel(s) made available for Canadian Harness Racing, without having to watch Thoroughbreds most of the time,eg. 478, and at a reasonable monthly rate?

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