Stakes action took centre stage this past weekend in the harness racing world, but what seemingly flew under the radar was an article by The Globe And Mail in which outgoing Woodbine Entertainment Group CEO David Willmot sounded off on a variety of topics
The theme of Willmot's comments was that racetracks are plagued by partisan politics and overregulation. In the article, Willmot cited the recent state loan to the New York Racing Association; the uncertainty surrounding New York City Off-Track Betting; the long, drawn-out situation in regard to getting a lucrative racino up and running at Aqueduct, and the mystifying lack of state support for the Kentucky horse racing industry.
The article comes to a close with Willmot commenting on WEG's dealings with the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency, which he says is very by-the-book, and to a fault. He claims that the CPMA's stringent adherence to its rules disallows tracks from trying new things, including a 'jackpot bet.'
“In every day, dealing with [the CPMA], it’s painful to the extent they seem reluctant to consider new forms of distribution, new forms of account wagering, new bet types – more interesting products to the customer,” Willmot was quoted as saying.
According to the article, Willmot stated that anybody can walk into a convenience store and buy a lottery ticket, providing only proof of age. “You can blow every cent to your name buying lottery tickets and no one is even going to ask you your name,” Willmot said.
But punters trying to register a wagering account with a track must “jump through hoops” to get one. The online form asks for name, gender, birth date, address, home, business and cellphone numbers, social insurance and driver’s licence numbers.
(With files from The Globe And Mail)