This past summer, the Woodbine Entertainment Group announced the appointment of Jessica Buckley to the position of President, Woodbine, Mohawk Park (Mohawk Racetrack). The longtime WEG employee is overseeing the $10 million upgrade which is currently underway at the Campbellville, Ont. oval.
Brisnet.com has taken the time to get to know Buckley, who can trace her WEG experience back to 1996 with HorsePlayer Interactive (now more commonly known as HPIbet), which is operated by Canada’s racing giant.
“Once I started at Woodbine and began learning all facets of the industry, I loved it,” Buckley was quoted as saying. “There are so many different perspectives between the core customer, the casual fan, and stakeholders. Understanding how we all get to the same place of prosperity is so important.”
Even though the simulcast product is such a crucial part of the North American racing product, Buckley conveyed that WEG will not lose focus of its on-track product.
“We’re really focused on the on-track experience,” Buckley said. “Whether it’s the customers there for racing or horsemen there to race, we want coming to Woodbine to be a special experience.
“That includes bettors, too,” she continued. “Since helping to launch HPIbet and then XpressBet/HRTV, I’ve been getting to know players and trying to understand their mindset and getting to know their needs. It’s a diverse group of people, but the bottom line is bigger wagering pools [are] better for everybody.”
Although she is officially the President of Woodbine, Mohawk Park, Buckley said that liaising between tracks, breeds and government is also an important function as well.
“Woodbine [Entertainment] is unique because there’s a board of directors but no shareholders — profits all go back into the industry through upgrades, marketing, and financial support,” Buckley said. “I see myself as a liaison between racetracks and government and between breeds.”
(With files from brisnet.com)