TV racing boosts wagering
By Paul
Account wagering in California caused many in the racing industry to worry about the risk of customer cannibalization, but Woodbine Entertainment officials say that such fears are not only unfounded, but, conversely, TV racing drives wagering, this according to a report in

Woodbine Entertainment’s Nick Eaves and Andrew MacDonald of Woodbine Entertainment told the Harness Racing Congress last week that their company’s success is due to “employing any and all distribution strategies.”

The final day of the Congress was devoted to marketing and technology in the horse racing industry, and New Media experts were on hand to depict a rosy future for the industry – provided it can take advantage of the new technology and marketing channels. Interactive TV was the hot topic.

Eaves quoted statistics showing that account wagering in Canada has jumped from $10 million in 1997 to over $72 million in 2001. This compared with an increase from $720 million to over $900 million in on-track wagering. 'We saw significant increases in both, so this growth was not at the expense of our main customers,' said Eaves, Woodbine Entertainment's senior vice president of marketing, gaming, and business development: 'We did not see cannibalization.' Officials in California, where account wagering was legalized in January, worry it will keep horse players who would otherwise come to the track at home. The key to preventing that is more televized racing, Eaves said.

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