On Wednesday, March 18, Great Canadian Gaming Corporation announced the temporary suspension, until further notice, of the conduct of racing and training at its three racetracks that are currently active. This includes Flamboro Downs in Hamilton, Ontario, Hastings Racecourse in Vancouver, B.C., and Fraser Downs in Surrey, B.C.
The suspension of racing and training activity is driven by the heightened concerns in both jurisdictions with the spread, and attempted containment, of the COVID-19 virus, and recent direction from provincial governments and health authorities in both provinces to significantly limit public gatherings of any kind. Great Canadian recently decided to conduct racing at all three tracks without spectators, but Great Canadian felt this more significant action was necessary to protect the health and well-being of Great Canadian’s team members, the industry participants that race and train at the racetracks, and the support personnel for the industry.
“This was a difficult decision for the company to make, especially considering a similar decision was made for Great Canadian’s gaming properties across the country just a few days ago,” stated the company’s COO, Matthew Anfinson. “But as the circumstances changed in recent days in both B.C. and Ontario, we felt this was the only decision that addressed the current health concerns that are impacting so many other Canadians currently.”
Great Canadian will be working with the breed associations that represent the racing participants, as well as regulators, for the orderly shutdown of racing facilities at the three properties.
In addition, Trot Insider has learned that the shutdown at Fraser Downs will cancel the remainder of the 2019-2020 meet at the Surrey, B.C. oval. Racing is set to return to Fraser Downs in the fall.
(with files from Great Canadian Gaming Corporation)