Hard times hit the race track; Canterbury to lay off employeesby Bill Catlin, Minnesota Public Radio
Shakopee, Minn. — Canterbury Park in Shakopee says it is laying off 60 full-and part-time employees, about 10 percent of its workforce. The workers will be let go by the end of October.
The race track and card gambling operation says difficult economic conditions and increased competition are hurting its revenues.
Canterbury Park also announced it has suspended its management bonus plan and contributions to the employee stock ownership program for the current fiscal year.
"The downturn in the nation's economy has had a significant adverse effect on our card room and pari-mutuel revenues," said Canterbury CEO Randy Sampson. "It is important to note that we are not alone in this -- racing and gaming venues nationwide have been hit hard by the weak economy."
Pari-mutuel betting on horse races has declined nearly 10 percent in the third quarter of this year compared with 2007, according to the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Equibase Company.
The casino industry nationwide has also experienced declines due to increased fuel costs and the weak economic environment.
"Gaming is a discretionary activity for our customers, and as such, we are impacted when households have to tighten their belts," Sampson said.