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Northlands Park - Memories Worth Keeping
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Gaming

Gaming has been part of Northlands Park's history for over 75 years, attracting a progress of colourful people capable of adapting the organization to meet new challenges.

Though most gaming activities were illegal in Alberta until 1969, parimutuel betting was permitted at the races long before. This practice kept gaming alive in Edmonton even as interest waned in other parts of North America.

Parimutuel betting and casino operations are still the biggest hits at Northlands, each generating financial returns critical to the survival and service of the organization.

Proceeds from wagering activities are directed into charitable causes such as the upkeep of facilities that are made available to the surrounding community. Funds raised through that system also provide a number of jobs to local citizens.

Horseracing in particular attracts attention through the cachet associated with the ‘Sport of Kings.’ Wagering on the outcome and watching a competitor beat the odds are both part of the sport’s magnetism.

Almost all of the money invested through betting at the tracks is either returned to the public in the form of payouts, or pledged to the winners’ purse.

This branch of operations faces certain challenges, including the need to adapt by creating marketing and public relations strategies designed to capture the interest of younger players. The sport is, after all, competing against the flashier Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs), even as it benefits positively from their presence. The casino, where VLTs are housed, operates year ‘round and pulls in revenues that are invested back into various charitable projects.

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