No Racing, Simulcast At St. John's

Published: December 31, 2015 06:41 pm EST

St. John's Racing and Entertainment Centre announced on Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015 that they will not be offering live or simulcast wagering at their facility in 2016.

The facility's betting permit expires on December 31, 2015 and will not be renewed for 2016. ‎

"As has been shown across North America, harness racing cannot be sustained on pari-mutuel wagering alone," said Brett Whelan, SJREC General Manager. "We hope that at some point in the near future a partnership between the industry and the Province can be established which will allow the resumption of harness racing in Newfoundland and Labrador. The industry would like to thank all of our valued customers for their support over the years."

All non-wagering business operations will continue as usual as of January 1, 2016.

The Atlantic Provinces Harness Racing Commission has granted the Home Market Area for 2016 to Woodbine Entertainment Group, who will offer TAB (HPI) wagering in the province.

(with files from SJREC)



Live racing is simply not sustainable in the market. But, for those who are racing enthusiasts, why does the CPMA not make an exception and allow simulcast wagering.

To compare the pari-mutual situation at St. John's to that of "across North America" is a bit misguided. St. John's raced 10 cards of pari-mutual racing in 2015. The 10 cards included 65 races, (with 2 walkovers), for a total race handle of......$8,218 for the year. A whopping $126 per race. It might be not where we want it in North America, but this is an extreme case. I must say that all should be congratulated for surviving so long.

"Harness racing cannot be sustained on pari-mutuel wagering alone". A prophetic statement indeed by Mr. Whelan!

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