Magna Entertainment Corp. - New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation Publishes Results of Study

    AURORA, ON, April 2 /CNW/ - Magna Entertainment Corp. ("MEC") (NASDAQ:  
MECA; TSX: MEC.A) - For many years, MEC, as North America's largest owner and
operator of horse racetracks, based on revenue, has observed the failing
business model for horse racing in New York State, including the difficult
relationship between the racetracks and the off-track betting networks
operating in the State.
    MEC has long been concerned regarding this and similar situations
throughout North America, including the fact that not enough is being done to
update our industry's decades old regulatory framework. Other sports and other
forms of gaming and entertainment that have not been similarly constrained
have flourished in the absence of constraints like those hindering horse
    MEC applauds the leadership of the City of New York, the New York City
Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the New York City Off-Track
Betting Corporation (NYCOTB) for undertaking the study "NYCOTB - A Plan for
Transformation and Growth" that was published today. The major findings of the
NYCOTB report, summarized below, parallel the business strategy that MEC has
followed since its inception in 1998, namely to:

    1) Pursue restructuring of the racing industry's economics and consider
       closer collaboration and perhaps integration of racetracks and OTBs;

    2) Drive growth through increased consumer access via multiple,
       convenient platforms by deploying new technologies such as the
       Internet, mobile and interactive TV.

    MEC believes that horse racing needs to be like any other major league
sport engaging customers where customers want to be engaged, whether in their
living rooms (via TV or Internet) or with family and friends at a local sports
bar (OTB) or at the venue (racetrack).
    MEC agrees with the study's conclusion that there are substantial growth
opportunities available in the horse racing and gaming entertainment business,
and also agrees that regulatory reform is essential for such opportunities to
be realized.
    Michael Neuman, Chief Executive Officer of MEC stated, "As a participant
in one of the bid groups for the New York racing franchise, we pledge to use
our position constructively to bring about the changes necessary to ensure a
successful future for horse racing in New York. In our view, such success will
only be achieved by recognizing the inter-dependence of the racetracks and the
OTB networks. The study released today should help propel enlightened industry
participants to the same conclusion. The winners will be the thousands of New
Yorkers who depend on horse racing for their livelihood as well as the State,
the City of New York and the other municipalities in New York for which horse
racing provides substantial economic benefits. And when they win, so will the
customers of New York horse racing and so will the entire North American horse
racing industry."

    MEC, North America's largest owner and operator of horse racetracks,
based on revenue, acquires, develops, owns and operates horse racetracks and
related pari-mutuel wagering operations, including off-track betting
facilities. MEC also develops, owns and operates casinos in conjunction with
its racetracks where permitted by law. MEC owns and operates AmTote
International, Inc., a provider of totalisator services to the pari-mutuel
industry, XpressBet(R), a national Internet and telephone account wagering
system, as well as MagnaBet(TM) internationally. Pursuant to joint ventures,
MEC has a fifty percent interest in HorseRacing TV, a 24-hour horse racing
television network, and TrackNet Media Group LLC, a racing content management
and distribution company.

For further information:

For further information: Michael Neuman, Chief Executive Officer, Magna
Entertainment Corp., 337 Magna Drive, Aurora, ON, L4G 7K1, Tel: (905)

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