Magna leads America’s tracks

Apr 23, 2002 2:32 AM

In the short span of two years, Canadian industrialist Frank Stronach has created a publicly-traded company that has become the largest operator of pari-mutuel racetracks in North America. Magna Entertainment Inc. (MIEC) owns nine tracks and operates the racing at two others.

Now he and his associates are developing a strategy to link those tracks to a home betting network.

"Today, we’re the number one racetrack owner in America," Jim McAlpine, company president and CEO told about 300 stockholders at the annual meeting last week at Santa Anita in California. "Tomorrow," McAlpine continued, "we want to be the world’s leading electronic media wagering and entertainment company."

McAlpine said racetrack operations during 2001 generated $459.6 million. That would be enhanced substantially when the company doubles or triples its off-track betting facilities and adds some 200,000 customers to its XpressBet account wagering business. He estimated that such an expansion would result in annual revenues of more than $2 billion.

During the current year, he said, the company plans to add three to five more tracks to its "current stable."