Canterbury Park Cuts Takeout Rates for 2016 Season

The track's 69-day meet opens May 20.

Edited press release

Canterbury Park has lowered its takeout rates for all wagers for 2016.

Canterbury Park racing officials on Tuesday announced a sweeping reduction in pari-mutuel takeout that will result in the racetrack offering a wagering product priced lower, on average, than any track in the country.

Canterbury Park has set its win, place and show takeout rates at 15 percent, and its exotic-wager takeout rates at 18 percent. The track’s 69-day Thoroughbred and American Quarter Horse meet opens May 20.

“Canterbury Park has long strived to be the most horsemen-friendly track in the country; now, we want to be the most horseplayer-friendly racetrack in America,” said vice president of racing operations Eric Halstrom said. “With the growth in the quality of our racing program we, with the support of our horsemen, are taking the next step and making our races the most profitable wagering opportunity.

“By changing our takeout to the lowest in the United States, we're giving horseplayers worldwide great value and drawing attention to what is sure to be the finest racing season in Minnesota history,” he added.

Racing and gaming industry economists suggest that handle, the amount of money wagered, will increase substantially as takeout is reduced. Canterbury officials are confident that bettors will embrace the lower takeout and continually improving quality of racing with field size that regularly exceeds the national average. Horsemen purses have increased by 91 percent since 2010 due to tribal purse enhancements, and out-of-state handle on Canterbury's races has risen by 114 percent over that same time period.

“We have been successful in increasing handle as our racing quality has improved,” Halstrom said. “However, substantial upside still exists, and we believe this bold move will help us recognize that potential and create passionate Canterbury Park fans throughout the country. We're excited to offer something that no other racetrack in the United States has – the highest return to bettors all over the world.”

Tom Metzen, president of the Minnesota Horsemen's Benevolent & Protective Association, which represents Thoroughbred trainers and owners racing in the state, is in agreement with the takeout changes.

“Racing at Canterbury Park continues its upward trend and the Minnesota HBPA supports the idea of a reduced takeout for our horseplayers,” Metzen said. “It will not only increase handle but show race fans everywhere what a jewel Minnesota racing is on the national scene.”

The reduction in takeout has also been met with widespread approval from major racing organizations including the nation's premier horseplayer advocate group, the Horseplayers Association of North America (HANA).

“Canterbury Park has made a bold gesture for 2016, lower takeout for all. Their new wagering menu offers tremendous value. It also tells me they want my business,” HANA president Jeff Platt said. “I'll be giving Canterbury a long, hard look this year and would encourage horseplayers everywhere to do the same.”

According to HANA, in 2015, Canterbury's win/place/show takeout was 17% while most exotic wagers were 23%. HANA ranked Canterbury 29th of 62 on its annual list of horseplayer-friendly tracks.

The takeout restructuring will be discussed by the Minnesota Racing Commission April 21.

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