Pari-mutuel handle on U.S. races declined 2.84% in 2014, marking the seventh time in eight years that fewer dollars have been wagered.
Santa Anita Park reported dramatic increases in handle and attendance for opening day of its winter meet Dec. 26.
Panel discusses field-size challenges and possible solutions on the first morning of the 2014 University of Arizona Global Symposium on Racing & Gaming Dec. 9 in Tucson, Ariz.
Churchill Downs wrapped up 2014 with a double-digit decline in all-sources wagering during the 24-day fall meet that concluded Nov. 30.
The inaugural Gulfstream Park West meet in Florida had all-sources handle of $3,475,300 Saturday, Oct. 11, the highest in the four days since the meet opened.
The opening weekend at Keeneland, which marked a return to a dirt racing main track for the first time since the spring of 2006, saw steady attendance and on-track wagering but total handle declined 5.7%.
With sporadic rain showers throughout the day for Keeneland's fall meet opener Friday, which also marked the return to dirt for the Lexington track, attendance and handle figures were down compared with last year.
While it already has faced many hurdles, if the declining North American foal crop is not turned around soon, North American racing will require creative solutions from racetracks and horsemen or face further contraction.
Kentucky Downs closed out its highly successful 2014 live racing season Wednesday, Sept. 24, and the track established new records for wagering handle and starters per race during the five race-date season.
While the amount of money wagered on each U.S. race increased in August, a decline in the number of races offered proved too steep a hurdle as total wagering declined 0.37% compared with August 2013.
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The important summer meetings at Del Mar and Saratoga Race Course each registered improved numbers compared with their 2013 seasons. Total handle was up at Del Mar; Saratoga saw total handle improve and a spike in attendance.
A horseplayers group believes its boycott negatively impacted handle at the Churchill Downs spring meet where the total money wagered decreased by more than $48 million.
Like its parent company Betfair, TVG enjoyed a strong 12 months for the fiscal year ended April 30, according to financials released June 11. TVG saw handle increase 33% to $74.76 million.
Since putting a new marketing plan in place for its Instant Racing games, Ellis Park has seen improvement in the business. The Kentucky track registered record monthly handle for the games at $3,024,776 in May.
A horseplayers group that organized a protest of Churchill Downs reports handle is down $19.3 million through the first 14 race days at the Louisville track.
Keeneland announced April 28 that all-sources handle for the 15-day meet that ended April 25 totaled $141,119,476 compared to $161,990,603 wagered during the 16-day spring meet in 2013.
The pari-mutuel model needs to be updated in order for horse racing to grow handle. read blog
With the harsh winter of 2014 finally abating, Thoroughbred racing's key economic indicators of wagering and purses declined only slightly in March, according to figures released by Equibase Co.
Despite an increase in race days, wagering on U.S. races in January of 2014 was similar to the amount of handle on U.S. races in January 2013.
The New York Racing Association posted a 2.3% average daily total handle gain for 2013. The increase follows a 2012 season during which NYRA posted sizable gains in all handle categories.
The Churchill Downs fall meet saw a double-digit percentage decline in average daily wagering at this year's 25-day stand that wrapped Saturday, Nov. 30.
Assiniboia Downs ended its 60-day season of live racing Sunday, Sept. 22 with a 6.74% increase in wagering by bettors outside of the province.
Wagering and attendance both declined slightly during the 40-day 2013 meet at Saratoga Race Course that concluded on Labor Day, Sept. 2.
Compared with 2012, average all-sources handle declined 17% at the recently completed Ellis Park summer meet, a decrease the track attributes to new competition and fewer off-track outlets in the state.
The New York Racing Association reported that all-sources wagering was up less than 1% and attendance down slightly during the first half of the 40-day meet at Saratoga Race Course.
Betfair Hollywood Park showed gains in both all-source handle and daily average handle during the 49-day spring/summer stand that was the penultimate meet before the track ceases live racing.
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club reported increases in every key statistical category during the first five days of the California track's 2013 meet.
Considering a Triple Crown was not on the line, the New York Racing Association reported some solid numbers for the June 8 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) day card.
While the biggest wagering card of the year saw a 1% decline in handle, U.S. racing managed to register a strong month of May as pari-mutuel handle was up 3.57% compared with the same month last year.
Keeneland concluded its 2013 spring race meeting April 26 with a number of records, including all-sources handle and most wins by an owner, trainer, and jockey.
The Arcadia, Calif., track received final handle figures for its winter-spring meeting April 25. Handle improved 3% to $710,813,700. That increase came during a first quarter that saw U.S. handle decline 2.81%.
All-sources handle for the season was $141,735,025, up 12.52% compared with the 2011-12 meeting that produced $125,963,850. This year's daily average handle from all sources was $1,629,138, or 13.81% higher.
- By Tom LaMarra
Wagering on United States races dropped 2.02% in January when compared with the same month in 2012, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators released by Equibase Feb. 4.
In its first full year receiving added money for purses from the Resorts World Casino New York City at Aqueduct Racetrack, the New York Racing Association registered strong pari-mutuel handle in 2012.
- By Tom LaMarra
Ramblings about pari-mutuel takeout rates, handle, slots, data, and whatever else. read blog
Woodbine Entertainment Group announced Dec. 20 that handle on the Woodbine 2012 live Thoroughbred meet, which concluded Dec. 16, showed impressive growth over the 2011 season.
With the number of U.S. race days in October down 7.86% from the comparable month a year ago, wagering on U.S. races fell 8.79%, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators from Equibase Company.
Attendance of 34,619 at Santa Anita Park Nov. 2 for the first day of the 29th Breeders' Cup World Championships represented a 14.7% decline when compared with the first day at Churchill Downs a year ago.
Racing continues to show some growth in 2012. In September, handle on U.S. races improved 2.6% and purses were up 13.77%.
Turfway Park struggled to fill fields early in the meet and missed a big-handle day in the Kentucky Cup Day of Champions as handle and purses fell at the fall meet.
Evangeline Downs' recently concluded spring/summer Thoroughbred season recorded solid numbers including increases in average nightly handle, average nightly on-track handle, and total on-track handle.
Attendance and handle, both ontrack and all-sources, were up substantially from 2011 figures for the Aug. 25 running of the $1 million Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course.
Benefiting from several exotic wager carryovers, handle at Del Mar soared during the five days ending Aug. 19 and remains well ahead of last year at the same point in the boutique meet.
With 22 of 40 racing days in the books, all-sources handle on Saratoga races climbs; attendance and field size are fractionally down as wet weather causes 26 races to come off turf.
While all-sources wagering increased 7.6% during the first three weeks of the annual boutique meet at Saratoga Race Course, the upstate New York track reported attendance had dipped by 1.9% through Aug. 6.
On track handle, total handle, and attendance posted increases from 2011 after four days of racing at Saratoga.
Del Mar posted healthy handle numbers across the board during its first five days of racing from Wednesday through Sunday, July 22.
After posting record wagering on this year's Kentucky Derby and Oaks, the 38-day spring meet at Churchill Downs ended with a 3.31% decline in total and average daily handle.
Tampa Bay Downs ended its 86th racing season with a decline in average daily all-sources handle during the 92-day meet that began Dec. 3, 2011, and ended May 6.
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