Corporate Governance and Regulatory Compliance
Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of experienced business leaders. The Board works in conjunction with the executive management team to ensure that business operations are conducted in accordance with its established governance and ethical standards.
This leadership group believes that ensuring the integrity of the racing product is necessary to maintain the confidence of wagering customers and industry participants. The Directors act in the best interest of horse racing and firmly believe that a healthy horse racing industry is dependent, first and foremost, on the financial viability of its racetracks, as the racetracks provide the venue and purse income upon which horseracing relies.
Horseracing Regulatory Agencies
The horse racing industry is highly regulated and controlled. To ensure efficient liaison with the Federal and Provincial regulators Woodbine Entertainment provides the space for them to house their offices in the backstretch for the purposes of issuing licenses to participants, and monitoring both participant testing and racing outcomes for compliance.
Both the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) and the Canadian Pari-mutuel Agency (CPMA) maintain offices in Woodbine’s backstretch.
The Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) officiates, conducts investigations, and holds hearings on regulatory matters for all races at licensed Ontario racetracks. Compliance functions include administration of the human drug testing and breathalyzer program, searches for prohibited substances, and enforcement of track security standards. Both civilian and provincial police officer investigators are employed where serious racing violations, illegal gambling, horse abuse or death, and race fixing may occur. The ORC administers over 30,000 licenses to individuals and businesses involved in horse racing as well as licensing the racetrack itself. In addition to its regulatory functions the ORC supports the horse racing industry by developing and overseeing programs that assist the industry. The Horse Improvement Program (HIP) that has been delivered by the ORC since 2005 was established in 1974 to increase employment in the racing industry and support the economic stability of Ontario’s farms by encouraging ownership of Ontario-sired horses.
The Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency (CPMA) is a Special Operating Agency within Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada that regulates and supervises pari-mutuel betting on horse racing at racetracks across Canada, thereby ensuring that pari-mutuel betting is conducted in a way that is fair to the public. The Agency is funded through the collection of a levy of 0.8% on each pari-mutuel bet placed in Canada. CPMA Officers are responsible for the supervision of pari-mutuel betting, they test and monitor all of the computerized betting tote systems, audit the distribution of payouts prices, conduct investigations into questionable activities in pari-mutuel betting, and enforce the betting regulations and policies to ensure compliance.
The CPMA is also responsible for monitoring for equine drug use. Since there are many drugs and medications that, if administered to a horse, could affect the outcome of a race, the CPMA provides an Equine Drug Control Program that is designed to deter the uncontrolled use of drugs or medication in racehorses participating in pari-mutuel races. Urine or blood samples are collected from horses in the Woodbine/CPMA test barns, under video surveillance, before or after a race and are analyzed at a laboratory contracted by the CPMA. This regulator also carries out research in order to develop and improve analytical methods for the detection of drugs and to provide information on elimination times for veterinary drugs.
Gaming Regulatory Agency
Gaming in Ontario is regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). As a host site to slot operations conducted and managed by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG), Woodbine Entertainment is licensed by the AGCO as a Non-Gaming Supplier.