Happy New Year to all of you. We hope you had successful races over the holiday period.
It’s unfortunate that we must begin the new year with, yet again, more provincial restrictions. These restrictions will directly affect our business operations and live horse racing. As such, Woodbine Entertainment is reaching out to you to keep you informed.
The good news is that standardbred racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park is permitted to operate without indoor spectators. All indoor areas (grandstand building) are now closed to the public.
For background, in response to recent trends that show an alarming increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations, the Government of Ontario, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, announced that it is temporarily moving the province into a modified version of Step Two of its Roadmap to Reopen.
The new government health and safety measures and restrictions went into effect yesterday. (Wednesday, January 5, 2022, at 12:01 a.m.) They will be in place for at least 21 days (until January 26, 2022) and are subject to the trends in public health and health system indicators.
For your information, here is how it will impact Woodbine Entertainment operations and business.
What Will Remain Open:
Standardbred Racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park is permitted to operate so long as the main indoor area (grandstand building) is closed to the public. However, it will operate as a Quick Cash Stop for customers to purchase programs and place bets.
What is Mandated to Close by the Province of Ontario:
- The Woodbine and Woodbine Mohawk Park Grandstands, which includes all restaurants and simulcast wagering areas.
- Casino Woodbine and Elements Casino Mohawk.
What Will Remain Open and Operating at Limited Capacity:
- WEGZ, Greenwood Teletheatre, Woodbine and Woodbine Mohawk Park will operate as Quick Cash Stops where customers can purchase programs and advanced wagering bets.
- Several Champions Off-Track-Betting locations will also operate as Quick Cash Stops. Here is a link to the locations: https://woodbine.com/champions/post-covid-19-champions-open-locations/
Owners’ Experience and Protocols: effective Thursday January 6th, 2022, until further notice
Owners, with an entry on the card, will be permitted to attend Woodbine Mohawk Park to watch their horse race live from the Outdoor Apron or Trackside Patio (Owners are permitted to bring ONE guest).
- All owners must register through Signup Genius which will be provided in advance of a race card. https://woodbine.com/mohawk/guest-registration/#owners
- All owners and guests must complete a COVID-19 Survey.
- All owners and guests must provide POV QR Code and Valid Photo Identification.
- Any guest displaying symptoms of COVID-19 will not be permitted entry.
- Entry will be provided through the employee entrance where security will call for GS to escort guests to Apron.
- Owners will not be permitted into the paddock area in an effort to reduce exposure for the safety of all. Thank you for your understanding and adherence.
- Guests are permitted to stay for the duration of their horse’s race (10 minutes prior and 10 minutes post to a race).
- Advance Wagering will only be available at the Quick Cash Stop (Front Lobby) or on their personal devices using HPIbet.com or Darkhorsebets.com
Woodbine is closely monitoring the situation and guidelines directed by the Province of Ontario and the Chief Medical Officer of Health. While it is important to our business, and industry, that Standardbred Racing at Mohawk Park can continue to operate, it’s critical we follow the provincial restrictions for the safety of all. Unfortunately, this is further impacting our business operations and staffing levels.
As a result, only our essential team members will be allowed to work on site as January 5 and until further notice. As you may know, many Woodbine team members are already working remotely.
As we have done so throughout the pandemic, we must continue to operate prudently in the short-term to protect the long-term business success of Woodbine Entertainment. We do this in order to protect the horse racing industry and the tens of thousands of other jobs that rely on it.
We will continue to react and make real-time decisions as provincial restrictions are modified. Our goal is to keep our business running and, while we recognize this news may be difficult, management is committed to keeping you all informed as this situation evolves. We will share with you the latest developments and decisions by the Government of Ontario.