|A brief series of televised horse races will launch Magna Entertainment’s next generation of betting structures aimed at new punters. |
Magna Entertainment Corp’s new chief executive officer, Michael Neuman, has announced the “life-changing” payouts of $10m or more and “new-age wagering products”.
However, there may be boggy ground ahead for North America’s biggest horse track operator. Magna is handicapped by debt and is calling for a reassessment of out-dated regulation. While they are anticipating extended opening hours and a softening of regulators attitudes, along with increased numbers of slot and video terminals at tracks, Neuman stated that “horse racing needs a new business model.”
While the new products are expected to generate a lot of interest, debt reduction is also a priority for the company, despite its vast property assets. Three properties were sold during the quarter, generating $65.1m, however, long-term debt and convertible notes still total more than $570m. More sales are planned.
Founder and Chairman Frank Stronach explained that “MEC is really a global lottery corporation. Instead of balls bouncing up and down, we have horses.' He appealed for shareholders to be patient.