Attendance, on-track handle, and total handle remained up through the first 11 days of racing at Saratoga Race Course.
- By Tom LaMarra
Handle during the multi-faceted Hong Kong Jockey Club racing season topped the HK$100-billion mark for the first time in 2006-07, but officials said there's still much work to be done.
Belmont Park's on-track handle, including simulcasts, increased 4.3% at the recently-concluded 59-day spring/summer Meet, the racetrack announced July 27.
Purses and pari-mutuel handle were up slightly in the second quarter of this year compared with the same period in 2006.
Hollywood Park closed its 63-day spring meet July 15 with a record average in all-sources handle, fueled by increases in on-track and advance deposit wagering, the Inglewood, Calif. racetrack reported.
A lucrative meet at Fair Grounds and the advent of slot machines at race meets in Florida and Pennsylvania fueled a 13% hike in purses for the first quarter of 2007, but handle was down.
Youbet.com directed more criticism at the controversial content alliance of Churchill Downs and Magna Entertainment May 8, with one executive telling analysts during an earnings conference that the partners in TrackNet Media Group "ended up shooting not only themselves, but an entire industry."
Steady growth in interstate wagering, total handle and purse payouts highlighted the 81st season of live thoroughbred racing at Tampa Bay Downs, which ended May 6. The Oldsmar, Fla., track also celebrated a record single-day attendance May 5 when a crowd of 11,014 witnessed Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) winner Street Sense capture the 133rd Kentucky Derby.
With one day remaining in the 15-day spring meet, Keeneland's wagering went over the record mark Thursday.
Fueled in part by all-source handle declines at such meetings as Del Mar, Arlington Park and Monmouth Park, overall wagering on United States racing in the third quarter of 2006 dropped by nearly $7 million.
Officials representing virtually every major racing country around the world with pari-mutuel betting have taken the first step toward creating huge pools through international commingling that could revolutionize the sport.
Kentucky Downs saw drops in both on-track and all-source gross handle totals during its rain-marred meet that concluded Sept. 26.
The mixed meet at Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino experienced a 12.5% increase in overall betting per day, but a 4.6% drop in on-track wagering.
Del Mar officials said the second half of the Southern California racetrack's 43-day meet helped offset on-track declines caused by unusual heat and humidity early in the season.
Ellis Park posted gains in average daily on-track wagering and attendance for its 36-day meet that ended Sept. 4, its first effort since a tornado damaged the Henderson, Ky., complex last November.
Though on-track numbers were down at Colonial Downs, the Virginia racetrack reported gains in off-track business for its 41-day meet that ended Aug. 12.
River Downs and Thistledown combined July 6 for what is believed to be an all-time one-day Thoroughbred handle record for the state of Ohio.
Youbet.com handled $4.2 million Preakness Stakes (gr. I) day to top last year's same day handle by 18.5%. The May 20 figure is the second-highest in the history of the account wagering service.
On the heels of an announcement by Beulah Park officials that the track's winter/spring meet produced an all-time record handle, the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association claims the success did little for purses.
The Maryland Jockey Club reported Saturday night that a record crowd of 118,402 was on hand for the 131st Preakness Stakes (gr. I) in Baltimore.
Youbet.com and Harrah's Louisiana Downs have joined forces on a multi-year program that will make the online wagering company the official wagering provider for the Bossier City, La., racetrack.
Lawmakers will tackle the complicated issue of Internet gambling during a two-hour hearing June 2 during a meeting of the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States in Boston.
Beulah Park in Grove City, Ohio, set an all-time handle record during its 75-day winter/spring meet that spanned Jan. 7-May 6.
TV Games Network set a one-day handle record of $7,555,958 Kentucky Derby day, May 6. The amount was up 18% from Derby day in 2005.
Youbet.com, the online wagering company with headquarters in Southern California, handled $5.6 million Kentucky Derby day, May 6, an increase of 34% from 2005 and the highest one-day amount in the history of the company.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) and Equibase Company released the "Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators" for United States and Canadian pari-mutuel wagering on U.S. Thoroughbred racing during the first quarter of 2006, as well as for U.S. purses and race days, with prior-year, first-quarter comparisons.
The first meet with a Polytrack surface proved not only to produce solid footing but also solid financial figures.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Equibase Company reported Wednesday that pari-mutuel handle and purses declined in the U.S. last year, primarily a result of racing cancelled due to weather.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association may look for ways to pursue legal action to stop signal piracy and recover what they believe is their fair share of revenue from wagering on Thoroughbred racing.
Beulah Park set an all-time one-day handle record, while Turfway Park has increased purses because of business gains.
The absence of turf racing didn't impact the Hollywood Park fall meet as much as expected--at least in terms of averages--according to meet-end figures released by the Southern California racetrack.
Large fields and an artificial racing surface are credited for a 17% increase in all-sources handle for the first three weeks of the Turfway Park meet.
Total handle and purses registered gains during the 167-day Woodbine meet that spanned April 16-Dec. 11.
TV Games Network set a new quarterly handle record when it processed $119.8 million in wagers in the third quarter of this year. The figure is up 32.1% from the third quarter of 2004.
All-sources handle on the Oct. 29 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Belmont Park was a record $124,009,593, up 2.5% from the $120,897,141 wagered last year when the event was held at Lone Star Park.
Breeders' Cup, already expecting to begin its Oct. 29 World Thoroughbred Championships day $13 million in the hole handle-wise compared with last year, could take an even bigger hit given a lack of established wagering outlets in hurricane-ravaged Florida and Louisiana.
Breeders' Cup, faced with a potential decline in handle for this year's World Thoroughbred Championships given the absence of secondary pari-mutuel operators from its pools, is calling for the industry to expedite a policy on rebate shops.
Emerald Downs closed its 2005 race meet Oct. 16 with record increases in both handle and purses, making it the most successful year in the track's 10-year history.
Calder Race Course ended its 120-day Calder meet Oct. 16 with declines in attendance and wagering from a year ago.
Turfway Park reported on-track handle was up 2.1% for its fall meeting while all sources handle declined 11.8% The meet, which was 22 days, was the first to feature the new synthetic Polytrack surface.
Pari-mutuel handle on Thoroughbred racing in the United States and Canada was down 3.8% in the second quarter of 2005, though purses dipped less than 1% for the quarter, according to the latest "Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators."
Youbet.com, the California-based online wagering service, handled $3.4 million June 11, Belmont Stakes (gr. I) day, to bring its three-day Triple Crown total to $9.5 million. In 2003, the last time Youbet.com offered wagering on the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), Preakness Stakes (gr. I), and Belmont, total handle was $6.5 million, the company said.
Total in-state handle during the Pimlico Race Course spring meet was up 18.3% from the corresponding 2004 meet, according to figures provided by the Maryland Jockey Club.
TV Games Network, the 24-hour horseracing and interactive wagering network, set a one-day handle record May 7 with $6,397,203 in bets. Wagering on the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) alone was $2,767,545.
New Jersey racing officials expect account-wagering handle to top $35 million this year in its first full year of operation.
Keeneland's spring meet ended April 29 with record total attendance and the second highest on-track mutuel handle in history but a decline in total handle and total daily average handle.
After experiencing the wettest winter in the track's 70-year history, Santa Anita Park concluded its 2004-05 winter/spring meeting with only a 3% decline in total handle.
Total handle on United States Thoroughbred racing in North America, as well as U.S. Thoroughbred purses, were down in the first quarter of 2005 compared with the first quarter in 2004, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Equibase said.
With handle in January down about 9% from the same period in 2004, Philadelphia Park said its year-to-date purse overpayment has reached $1.9 million because of a commitment to boost purses while it waits to install slot machines. Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association finished 2004 in the black, but not without some adjustments.
An increase in handle on its live product had led Tampa Bay Downs to raise purses 7% effective Feb. 15. The daily average--overnight races and stakes--will be $140,000, a record for the track located in Oldsmar, Fla.
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