Canadian racing bodies push to legalize betting on races already staged

Canadian racing bodies hope to use races that have occurred to secure their future in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ontario Racing, Racetracks, and Woodbine Entertainment of Canada have approached the country’s federal posing for the legalization of historical racing , during which punters wager on races that are run within the past, so as to supply a replacement source of income meanwhile racing is pack up due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The three organizations said in a statement that the legalization of HHR would provide support during the crisis period and during any future shutdowns that might be necessitated by the potential of a second or third wave of coronavirus pandemics.

They added that this solution is unique since it provides a chance to offer a sustainable economic solution for a whole industry without the need for any increase in public funding.

The statement also said that Canada’s horse racing industry generates over 47,000 full-time jobs and contributes CA$5.6 billion (US$3.97 billion) each year to the national economy.

HHR, in which information is presented so that players can’t identify the race in question before betting, is legal in several states in the United States, including Kentucky, but will require a change in Canada’s law, which prevents betting on events that have already been run.

This week, Jim Lawson, Woodbine chief executive, said that he was hoping that racing could return in Ontario in June thanks to a successful inspection of facilities at Woodbine racecourse made by the Toronto COVID-19 Task Force.

He added that they are optimistic for the resumption of live racing in June and and that they still meet with the Ontario’s Alcohol and Gaming Commission with reference to amendments to the principles of racing necessary to allow the resumption of live racing within the province as quickly as possible.

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