Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Bet on us! - New Caymanas Park owners reveal plans to improve racing product

Published:Wednesday | March 8, 2017 | 3:00 AMLivingston Scott

Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL) yesterday outlined plans to transform Caymanas Park into a first-class racing track at a press conference to officially announce its takeover of the island's only horseracing facility from Caymanas Track Limited at the Portmore, St Catherine-based venue.

SVREL chief operations officer, Brando Hayden, says the new owners - a subsidiary of gaming giants Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL) - are also committed to increasing revenue and expanding the market for punters, a focused arrived at following considerable consultations with all stakeholders, while noting that most of the concerns voiced by members of the racing fraternity were incorporated in the development plan.

Hayden pointed out that stakeholders wanted to see the plant develop a family-friendly tone in an overall change in the image of the racing industry, timely payment of purses, cleaning up of the facility, strengthening of security, and renovation of the venue's bathrooms and elevators.

NEW REVENUE LINES

The plan would, however, be split into a regulatory and a commercial focus.

"We will be improving the local horse racing product, integrating technology for revenue enhancement and look at new revenue lines," said Hayden.

"This will incorporate wagering products, implementing operation efficiencies and strategically enhancing our product. We will look to increase the purses and over the next two years will look to increase the payout to punters as well," added Hayden.

One of SVL's core advantages is its robust distribution network, with over 1200 agents across the country. This is an asset that the new owners are looking forward to make the most of in their efforts towards the improvements in the racing products and convenience to punters.

It was, however, noted that the company would immediately focus on making infrastructural improvements as well as the implementation of a strong training programme for staff.

"We are going to strategically upgrade the infrastructure. We want to eliminate the restrictive turnstiles. We will look to beautify the property - repainting and landscaping, upgrade all existing restrooms and establishing an elevator," said Hayden.

This will include a multipurpose gaming facility and simulcast centre, high-end VIP lounge, a renovated North Lounge and the opportunity to purchase prepaid boxes.

MINIMAL DISRUPTION

Harvey insisted that the company is confident that all of this will be done with minimal disruption to the racing product.

"We are not going to disrupt the racing product, so all of this will happen in harmony with the racing product."

The building is to be completed in two years and will have three floors. The ground floor will host the gaming lounge, the second floor the VIP Lounge with the prepaid boxes situated on the third floor.

"SVL has a strong reputation for excellent customer services, and racing will be done the SVL way," he declared.

Harvey could not provide a report on the budget for the plans, noting that both parties have an agreement on confidentiality, so costs would not be made available.

"A lot of these numbers we will not be able to reveal because in one of the agreements in the divestment process, there was a certain amount of confidentiality with regards to terms of divestment, so a lot of the numbers we will not be able to reveal," said Hayden.