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Eaves On WEG's Live T-Bred Handle Increase

Published: December 8, 2010 5:01 pm ET

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Woodbine Entertainment Group President and CEO Nick Eaves has explained that even though WEG has seen its live thoroughbred handle increase for the second consecutive year, the organization still has to work at increasing business in its home market.

The Canadian racing giant announced earlier today that its 167-day 2010 thoroughbred meet, which concluded December 5 at Woodbine Racetrack, saw an 'all-sources' total of $393,507,233 wagered -- an 8.9 per cent overall rise from the $361,435,208 figure recorded from the 167 dates offered in 2009. The 2010 handle increase comes after a solid seven per cent hike in handle seen in 2009 over 2008.

A Toronto Star article by Sovereign Award winning racing writer Jennifer Morrison quotes Eaves as saying that WEG will be looking to grow its business a little more in its home market.

“It is a bit of a mixed picture,” Eaves was quoted as saying in regard to the '10 T-Bred numbers. “It’s mostly positive with wagering up on thoroughbreds 8.9 per cent from all sources. This is very positive because you don’t see these kinds of results anywhere else in North America.”

He went on to say, “Business actually declined a little in our home market. We now have to focus on how to grow our business at home through finding news ways to distribute our product, getting our races to where the customers are.”

Morrison also cites Daily Racing Form Chairman Steve Crist in The Star article. Crist states that WEG's expanded signal distribution in the United States is paying off in spades.

“Woodbine has done a very good job of getting its signal more widely exposed to U.S. horseplayers over the last two years,” said Crist. “I think a lot of players who weren’t aware of the quality of the product have been recruited to play it regularly.”

(With files from The Toronto Star)

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