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Blank, GCGC Sticking To Their Guns

Published: April 14, 2011 4:15 pm ET

Last Comment: April 21, 2011 1:55 am ET | 7 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Great Canadian Gaming Corp. VP Howard Blank has heard the call from the BC harness racing industry for more live race dates at Fraser Downs, and, according to a report, he isn't changing his tune.

A report by the Cloverdale Reporter explains that Blank doesn't believe that live thoroughbred and harness racing should be competing for the entertainment dollar.

“When you have standardbred and thoroughbred racing, the last thing you want to do is to have them compete for the entertainment dollar,” Blank was quoted as saying.

Blank was also quoted as saying, “We said that [a 10-month season] was something we didn’t feel was viable and the horse racing committee agreed. The six-month season is the way to go.”

(With files from the Cloverdale Reporter)

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April 21, 2011 - 1:55 amGreat Canadian Gaming has

David Aldred SAID...

Great Canadian Gaming has done a great job of assasinating standardbred racing in the Province of British Columbia. just over two year ago a Size and Scope study of the industry was done and this study should have been the basis of a plan to grow both the Standardbred and thoroughbred racing in BC. It looks like the outcomes from the study have been mismanaged and the facts and figures have been ignored. Fact - Standardbreds need to race a minimum of 10 months of the year for the industry to be viable. There is no reason why it couldn't race all year round. Standradbred racing in a major employer in BC and provides the source for many other businesses in the province to make a living. Its amazing to think that a province such as BC could lose half of its racing industry. Langley where most of the standardbreds are located (outside of the FD racetrack at Cloverdale) houses one of the largets number of horses in the World and is second only to Kentucky as having the highest horse population per capita. Mr Blank has always had a head in the sand attitude when it comes to harness racing, he is a thoroughbred man. Mr Blank knows only too well that the thoroughbred fans and harness fans are completely different, the two breeds do not compete for crowds or wagering. The casino's might, then thats another story - the Fraser Downs Casino is far more popular than the Hastings Casino, another reason why the thoroughbreds want to bury Standardbred racing. Wake up GCGC when you destroy the standardbred industry, the thoroughbred industry will be on the quick slide too. There is a plan, there is a way forward, surely someone can manage it properly for the racing industry in BC to thrive again. - David Aldred.

April 18, 2011 - 7:35 pmWell said everyone!! The

Well said everyone!! The management committee has turned into a pro throughbred committee, anything and everything for them. TOBA the new throughbred association, Great Canadian, and Derek Sturko have done all they can to bring the standardbred industry to an end. Not once am I am aware of has Mr. Sturko ever turned down GCGC on any of there request, especially to cut days. They seem to be handed a carte blanch to do what ever they like. As Mr. Sturko said at an industry meeting "if you dont like it leave". Horses and people are leaving which plays into GCGC plan, less horses=less racing days. GCGC tried the same thing in Ontario and the Ontario Racing Commission said NO to them and there cutting of live race days. It was a sad day when BC lost its racing commission and replaced it with a one man show. Mike Beamish's column Saturday in the Vancouver Sun says it all. A long slow painful downhill slide for standardbred horse racing in BC, just what GCGC wants

April 16, 2011 - 5:59 pmMr. Howard Blank, I

Mr. Howard Blank,
I challenge you to get out of your fancy office, come to the Fraser Downs backstretch, talk to our workforce(your workforce) and witness first hand the destruction of both equine and human careers that a six month racing season will bring on.
As President of Harness B.C. I have sat in on all negotiations between the participating parties.Minister Coleman continually talked about why this management committee was put into place to: Reorganize and help to save the Racing and Breeding industries of both racing codes(along with their many jobs).The management committee somehow,mysterically, switched to protecting the bottom line of Great Canadian.They have forgotten about the many people that may lose their livlihoods.
What about their bottom line?

Jim Vinnell
President
Harness B.C.

April 16, 2011 - 1:26 pmBo...I agree totally with

Bo Yury SAID...

Bo...I agree totally with Diana Ball; I have yet to see patrons at Fraser Downs with any numbers at Hastings...The two are completely different cultures in the form of loyalties! This is a Mr. Blank's "false herring"; If this is such an issue with GCGC that each track cuts into others betting dollar, I would like to remind Mr.Blank that it's their slots that have cut greatly into the horse racing revenues and not the former; Mr Blank needs to get his head out from under all the slot's profit and return and invest some back to whence it can from.. Why not offer Fraser Downs a couple of race dates a week on a Tuesday and a Thursday then? It would have nothing in the least to do with Hastings operation! Georgian Downs races on a week day with half the handle of Fraser Downs... How does Mr Blank justify Georgian's bottom line as a viable operation then as compared to Fraser's? It seems to me that horse racing in BC needs to be run by people who know the human element of horse racing and not casino operators!

April 15, 2011 - 1:26 pmDiana Ball BC I challenge Mr

diana ball SAID...

Diana Ball
BC
I challenge Mr Blank for the names of 5 live harness race fans that will now go to Hastings and spend their betting dollars there.
The two tracks competing? Give me a break.

April 15, 2011 - 1:25 pmHoward Blank does not have

Howard Blank does not have the best intrests of Great Canadian as indicated by his comments.If the restricted season kills Harness racing,then the Casino will not survive.The strong anti casino feeling in Vancouver is growing.If Great Canadian thinks it can move the Casino to another location it may be in for a disappointment.The lease with Surrey council calls for continued racing at Fraser Downs,also the Managment committee does not assign race dates as Blank says, this is done by the Gaming Enforcement Branch.I happen to own shares in Great Canadian, Howard Blank is attempting to devalue my holdings

April 14, 2011 - 7:17 pmHe does not mention his real

He does not mention his real agenda. The less racing the better. It is the "easy" slot revenue they want!!


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