03/22/2004 1:00AM

Hastings sold to gaming company


Hastings, the Vancouver, British Columbia, track that has been operated by Woodbine Entertainment Group since May 2002, has been sold to Great Canadian Gaming Corp.

In a press release Monday, David Willmot, chairman and CEO of Woodbine Entertainment, called Great Canadian "well positioned to enhance the prospects of the horse racing business."

Great Canadian operates seven casinos, four restaurants, and a marina operation in British Columbia, as well as three restaurants and four gaming facilities in the state of Washington.

"We've had preliminary talks with them, and they sound like they should be good operators," said Mel Snow, president of the British Columbia division of the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association. "They agreed that the live product is the main function of Hastings racecourse."

The sale is scheduled to close April 8, subject to regulatory approval. The 2004 Hastings meeting will begin April 17.