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Friday, October 30, 2015

A Note for Our Canadian Readers

I am talking to you.  It would be nice if you were a harness racing 'only' fan, but we know a good number of you are planning to wager on the Breeders Cup this weekend.  Well, you are going to do what you want to do but if you are planning on playing the Breeders Cup races this weekend and live in Canada, consider this press release from the Horse Players Association of North America (HANA).

Keeneland's Breeders' Cup Takeout Is Arbitrarily Increased for Customers North of the Border

HANA Calls For Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency, Woodbine to Respond to Customer Pricing Concerns
The Woodbine Entertainment Group, the entity which Canadian horseplayers, through live, OTB and Internet, wager on horse racing, has announced the betting menu for the 2015 Breeders' Cup has been significantly changed.

Takeout rates for the 19% trifecta, superfecta and pick 3 pools at Keeneland have been increased to 27%, place and show from 16% to 18%, and two horses exotics, super high 5, pick 4 and 5, from 19% to 20%. Only win and the pick 6 were left the same as the host track.

"Woodbine drew the ire of many this spring when they created a new pick 5 with 25% takeout, which was well above the industry standard of 15%. Now in the fall we see Breeders' Cup takeouts have been massively increased. We at the Horseplayers' Association of North America call on Woodbine and the Canadian Pari-mutuel Agency (CPMA) to address these issues. These are policies that are driving more and more horseplayers to other games of skill, further eroding horse racing's betting customer base, and hurting the entire industry," said Horseplayers Association of North America President Jeff Platt.

"According to their release, Woodbine said they are instituting this new measure in part because of "significant taxes" that are applied on wagers that are not seen in the US. The truth of the matter is, in Canada, and Ontario, only 0.5% of every dollar wagered goes to the provincial government, with 0.8% to the federal government. Simulcast deals made between Woodbine and horsemen groups which penalize horseplayers are on them, not on the customer, and should've been updated long ago to reflect the 21st century simulcast market," added Platt.

In Canada, horseplayers cannot patronize a competitor this weekend to escape the high takeouts and lower payoffs. Woodbine has a monopoly on pari-mutuel horse racing wagering in the country.

For more information please contact


Well, if you still plan to reward WEG for the gouging of the horseplayer on the Breeders Cup, good luck to you.  If, on the other hand you refuse to reward WEG for their actions,  let me offer you a few alternatives.  At Hoosier Park, you have a bundle of stakdes races tonight including a match up of Jiggle It Wiggleit and Freaky Feet Pete and on Saturday night, there are the two Kindergarten stakes races at Vernon Downs, the final RUS event of the season at Flamboro Downs, and Century Downs hosts the Alberta Sires Stakes.

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