Woodbine Entertainment Launches Dark Horse Bets Sports Betting App

Written By Jose Colorado on August 25, 2021 - Last Updated on October 26, 2021
Close up of a horse and jockey during a race, with an ad for Woodbine's new Dark Horse Bets app in the background

Woodbine Entertainment is hoping it has found its new Thoroughbred.

In the digital betting world, that is.

Ahead of the 162nd Queen’s Plate, Woodbine Entertainment re-launched its Dark Horse Bets app, a sports wagering tool. The popular event is Canada’s longest-running Thoroughbred horse race.

Dark Horse Bets will allow viewers and horse-racing enthusiasts to experience the sport through a “simplified” and “intuitive” app design.

New fans were the main priority throughout the development cycle.

“Horse racing is positioned well for today’s younger generation as it’s the original ‘social sport’ with fast-paced, two minutes of action in spurts,” said Jim Lawson, Woodbine’s CEO, via a statement.

“However, the wagering experience for new fans hasn’t been simplified through innovation well enough – until now.”

Image of a tweet from Woodbine's Twitter account about the launch of the Dark Horse Bets app.

Woodbine aims to attract new customers 

As Canada’s largest operator of professional horseracing, Woodbine Entertainment’s announcement comes at an exciting time for sports betting in Canada.

Earlier this summer, Bill C-218 passed the Senate.

The decision allows for single-event wagers on sporting events in Canada for the first time.

Canada’s CFL and PGA Championship have already made similar moves, partnering with online sportsbook and casino provider, BetRegal.

Betting on horse racing isn’t an entirely new concept, however. Some claim its practice goes as far back as the 1600s.

But today’s betting experience will bring on an entirely new feeling. In-app coaching, AI-powered stats and virtual coins are included in the app.

In total, Woodbine took a year to collect user feedback and insights to improve the platform. And, as part of the app re-launch, new users receive a $30 bonus when signing up for a limited time.

“Dark Horse Bets was developed with today’s sports bettor in mind and has a very intuitive mobile-first experience that gives new fans the confidence to get started wagering on horse racing,” said Lawson.

Dark Horse Bets App launched at Queen’s Plate

On the race track, it was Safe Conduct who stole the show.

In front of a sell-out crowd, the Thoroughbred took home the Queen’s Plate on August 22 in Etobicoke, Ontario. However, venue capacity was down 50% due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The Queen’s Plate is the first event in the Canadian Triple Crown. Races to follow are the Prince of Wales Stakes and the Breeders’ Stakes.

In 2020, Mighty Heart won the Queen’s Plate.

Photo by Michael Burns
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Jose Colorado is a British Columbia-based writer. He lives in Burnaby and loves sports, anime, writing, business and the occasional walk on the beach.

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