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WEG lowers triactor takeout rate

June 11, 2009
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Effective Wednesday, June 17, Woodbine Entertainment Group will reduce the takeout on its live Thoroughbred and Standardbred triactors to a total takeout of 27 percent, from 28.3 percent, when all of the mandatory regulatory deductions are included.

Unlike U.S. racetracks where taxes are primarily applied to winnings, Canada has its taxes applied as a percentage of wagering. More specifically, mandated regulatory deductions account for 6.8 percent of wagering or about 24 percent of Woodbine Entertainment Group\'s (WEG) total triactor takeouts, the majority of which is represented by the province\'s four percent Horse Improvement Program.

WEG\'s efforts to make its live race triactors more competitive by replacing this excessive pari-mutuel levy with a slots-based levy have been rejected by horsepeople\'s associations.

Simultaneously, in order to partially offset $1 million of new simulcast costs demanded by some Churchill and Magna controlled tracks, triactor takeout rates on these simulcast signals will increase to the same 27 percent total takeout including all mandatory deductions.

The tracks affected are Arlington Park, California Thoroughbred tracks, Churchill Downs, Fair Grounds, Gulfstream Park, Oaklawn Park and Pimlico Racecourse. California regulations also mandate an additional 0.5 percent on their tri pools.

WEG understands the sensitivity of price increases but believes that limiting the increase to only tri pools on a small number of tracks is better than the alternative of Churchill and Magna pulling their simulcast signals from the Canadian market.

As a net result of all these changes, WEG will still absorb approximately 90 percent of these increased costs or $900,000 per year, in an effort to minimize the impact to its customers. The recent simulcast agreement with Churchill and Magna will ensure their signals remain in Canada at least until the spring of 2011. (WEG)

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