Woodbine Racetrack Continues Work Despite COVID-19

Woodbine Entertainment made it clear that Woodbine Racetrack and Woodbine Mohawk Park would no longer welcome spectators interested in the daily horse races taking place there. Right now all eyes are set on April 18 and the anticipated beginning of the live racing season, but for the time being it all remains uncertain. In the meantime, training continues on the premises of the racetracks.

Ontario was among the first provinces to close its casino venues and gaming halls soon after Quebec did so. The decision came in the light of the recent development surrounding the novel coronavirus and the growing number of individuals contracting it. Closing the locations attracting crowds of individuals and promoting social distancing would make it possible for the province to flatten the curve.

Woodbine Racetracks Close for Spectators

April 18 was supposed to see the official start of this year’s horse racing season at Woodbine Racetrack. Jim Lawson, Chief Executive Officer of Woodbine Entertainment, stated that for the time being he is not certain whether that is a realistic goal, but he is hopeful it would happen and the season would commence on time. The situation around horse racing in Ontario is considered a special one.

Spectators are no longer allowed to make their way to the racetrack and watch live races, as those are no longer taking place. However, the racehorses themselves are in need of daily training and caregiving, meaning that the horse people associated with them should be present on the premises of the racetrack despite the pandemic situation and the concerns of COVID-19.

Mr. Lawson made it clear that even though the situation is a complicated one, there is a solution to this issue. Social distancing and work safety are of utmost importance right now and they would be implemented in the backstretch of Woodbine Racetrack as well. Around 1,500 individuals make their way there on a daily basis and their health is thoroughly monitored upon their arrival.

Horse People Continue Work

Such a situation is tough for the horse people as well, as they should be there for their horses relying on their care. March 14 saw the official announcement that Woodbine Entertainment closes its racetracks for fourteen days. Once this period is over, a reevaluation would take place in order to determine the next step for the racetracks. Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. David WilliamsΒ made it clear that large congregations of people should be canceled.

COVID-19 is highly contagious which is why individuals are advised to avoid the larger social gatherings and watch the live horse races from the comfort of their home. Woodbine Mohawk Park has its races still in progress, only without live spectators. As a result of the closing for spectators, the racetrack witnessed a surge of betting with around 10 percent since players are still interested in gaming and winning big.

The proceeds of this operation would further support horse people, as Mr. Lawson made it clear, something they need at the moment. Ontario now has 180 confirmed COVID-19 cases with the latest eight from the past 24 hours. Five of the latest individual to contract the virus hail from Hamilton. Barbara Yaffe, Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health, stated that 75 percent of the individuals contracting the virus have traveled abroad.

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Author:

Yolina has followed closely the latest development on the Canadian gaming scene over the past years, monitoring the land-based, lottery, and online offerings up for grabs. The dynamic nature of the local lottery and casino fields, as well as the opportunities lying ahead of Canada fire her enthusiasm for what is to come. A sports betting enthusiast, in her spare time Yolina could be found in her natural habitat – turning the pages of biographies and catching up on the latest stand-up comedy podcasts.