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Verlik Discusses Alberta Optimism

Published: July 4, 2019 12:31 pm ET

Last Comment: July 4, 2019 6:49 pm ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Horse Racing Alberta CEO Kent Verlik recently took the opportunity to discuss the optimistic vibe that has been present in the Alberta racing industry as of late.

Standardbreds have been slugging it out at Century Downs, located just outside Calgary, while the Thoroughbreds have been going toe-to-toe at the recently opened Century Mile in Edmonton, which will play host to harness racing for the first time in September.

Verlik’s comments about the Alberta industry have come during a recent article by Curtis Stock on the HRA website. Although the article is more focused on the inaugural Thoroughbred meet at Century Mile, Verlik has conveyed that participants and stakeholders in the provincial industry are generally pleased with how 2019 has unfolded to this point.

“The atmosphere is good and there is a lot of optimism,” Verlik has told Stock. “There is confidence in the industry right now. The big breeders are still there. Some of the smaller breeders who have left or are sitting on the sidelines are wondering if they should come back into the business. This is a critical year for us to show that things are turning around. Good things are going on."

Verlik stated that Century Mile has been able to attract new customers to the Edmonton track and expose them to live racing. Now, according to Verlik, the new fans have to be educated in terms of wagering.

“Century Mile has been packed on many days; the crowds are really good,” said Verlik. “Attendance on Father’s Day was second only to opening day at Century Mile. People are finding us. But it appears that the people who are coming out don’t know how to bet. It’s a new audience – which is good – but we need to educate them.”

Click here to read the HRA article in its entirety.

(With files from Horse Racing Alberta)

July 4, 2019 - 6:49 pmPositive news for Alberta

terry gudz SAID...

Positive news for Alberta racing industry, where overall total handle has dropped from 180 million to 103 million in the past decade.

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