American Wagering on World Cup Increases

American Wagering on World Cup Increases
Photo: Andrew Watkins
The exciting victory by Gloria de Campeao (yellow cap) highlighted this year's Dubai World Cup program.

Defying both national and international trends, wagering throughout North, Central, and South America as well as the Carribean, on the $26-million Emirates Airline Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) program and the entire Dubai International Racing Carnival at Meydan Racecourse rose dramatically during the first season of simulcasting conducted by Kentucky-based AmWest Entertainment.

According to a release, betting was up 22% on the Dubai World Cup program as compared to last year, and by 9.1% for the Dubai International Racing Carnival even though the Carnival consisted of one less day this year than in 2009. Factoring in the one day less of racing, Carnival handle grew by 17% per day.

The increases came while wagering continued to decline by more than 10% on American racing in March, as reported by Equibase April 5.

“In a world of diminishing returns, the fan participation generated by Dubai racing—and the corresponding excitement  of the sheer sport against the pageantry of the spectacular new Meydan Racecourse—is a striking example of horse racing at its best,” said Nelson Clemmens, chief executive officer of AmWest Entertainment.

Total handle reported on the Dubai World Cup program by the 424 outlets in the Americas and the Caribbean was $4,421,788 as compared to $3,622,661 in 2009. Strong participation by U.S. racetracks with special events linked to the Dubai World Cup helped elevate the handle, Clemmens said, while advance deposit wagering companies also reported huge leaps ranging up to more than 60% compared to 2009 figures.

Clemmens said AmWest worked diligently to achieve distribution of the Dubai signal throughout the Americas for both the Carnival, which commenced Jan. 28 and extended over nine days through March 5, and the Dubai World Cup program March 27. AmWest also delivered detailed racing information, effective advertising, promotions, merchandising, and economic incentives for outlets and players.

For their part, AmWest’s partner tracks and other outlets stimulated fan interest with a variety of special events or enticements, including breakfasts on Dubai World Cup and Carnival days and extra player rewards.

Fields during the Carnival averaged more than 12 horses per race, according to the release. Additionally, the new synthetic racing surface at Meydan yielded consistent results, with 35.7% of favorites winning and thus facilitating outstanding exotic plays, Clemmens said.

“We are proud to have been chosen to partner with Dubai racing, the leader in bringing international racing competition to American fans and players,” Clemmens said in a statement. “And we are committed to build on these outstanding results in the future.”

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