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Woodbine Entertainment Reiterates Support for Legalization of Single Event Sports Wagering

February 18, 2021

Toronto, ON – February 19, 2021 – Woodbine Entertainment reiterated its support for the legalization of single event sports wagering and is confident the horse racing industry, and the more than 50,000 jobs it supports across the country, will be protected.

“We continue to be very supportive of the legalization of sports betting and are confident that through the legislative process the Government will protect the industry that supports tens of thousands of jobs, generates significant economic activity, and is a way of life for thousands of Canadian families,” said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment.

In November, Woodbine Entertainment stated its support for Bill C-13, a proposed bill introduced by the Federal Government to legalize single event sports wagering that contemplated the potential for unintended consequences to the horse racing industry by including language to protect it. Subsequently, Private Members Bill C-218, an act to amend the Criminal Code of Conduct regarding sports betting, was voted on and passed overwhelmingly at second reading in the House of Commons on February 17.

Woodbine Entertainment is confident that Private Members Bill C-218 will also adopt language through the legislative process to protect the long-term sustainability of the horse racing industry.

“Sports betting in Canada is a significant opportunity for the Canadian economy and equally exciting for sports bettors,” Lawson added. “We remain highly focused on ensuring the horse racing industry not only is protected but has an opportunity to participate in it in a meaningful way.”

Woodbine Entertainment has legally operated single event wagering through a pari-mutuel model in a highly government-regulated industry for many decades.

“Throughout our future discussions with government authorities, we look forward to demonstrating how we can play a meaningful role in the execution of the legalization of sports betting that leverages our industry-leading experience and technology in single event wagering, while also offering a solution that would ensure any profits derived from sports betting remain in our provincial economy,” Lawson said.

Operating without share capital, Woodbine Entertainment’s sole mission as an organization is to sustain the Ontario horse racing industry and the tens of thousands of jobs it supports.