Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) Wednesday announced a significant restructuring of its operating model. While the company recently announced new transitional agreements with the Ontario government and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG), the revenue from those agreements will be significantly less than WEG earned through the Slots-at-Racetracks partnership. As a result, WEG has had to take steps to reduce costs and achieve efficiencies through the implementation of a new operating model.
With a reduction in the workforce of 109 salaried positions and a signifcant number of hourly positions, the changes implemented will result in the reduction of some services at Woodbine and Mohawk racetracks. The employee impact goes through the entire organization, from the executive offices to frontline employees. Including changes implemented in late 2012, In addition, a number of jobs will be converted to seasonal and the amount of hourly work available will be reduced.
"Today is a very difficult day for Woodbine Entertainment Group," said Nick Eaves, president and CEO of Woodbine Entertainment Group. "The people we are saying goodbye to have helped build WEG into a world-class horse racing and entertainment company. As we confront these difficult but necessary changes to our company, we remain committed to delivering a superior experience to our customers and demonstrating vital leadership to the Ontario horse racing industry to ensure its long-term sustainability."
WEG's operating model, both on-track and off-track, will be realigned to better reflect the new agreements with government and the OLG and its recently announced reduced race schedule. In addition, internal operations are being downsized or amalgamated to align with these new financial realities.
"This restructuring of our operations is absolutely necessary to ensure the viability of our business during this period of transition," said WEG chairman Jim Lawson. "WEG and its government partners must continue to work together in order to achieve the only sustainable solution - the integration of horse racing into Ontario's overall gaming strategy, which needs to include expanded gaming, operated by WEG, at Woodbine and Mohawk racetracks.” (WEG)