Churchill Downs reported a 1.08% increase in all-sources wagering for this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) program May 3, but an overall 1.81% decrease in total pari-mutuel handle for the six days that make up Derby week.
In what it says is an effort to maintain daily purses and its stakes schedule, Churchill Downs plans to increase its takeout rate on win, place, and show bets as well as exotic wagers in 2014.
Total purses generated by slot machines in Pennsylvania in 2013 dropped 6.57% from the previous year according to a benchmark report released April 9 by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
Ellis Park in Henderson, Ky., is seeking to make changes in its historical racing operations, including removal of 50 terminals that will be sent to Kentucky Downs in Franklin.
If the monthly average holds, total wagering on historical races in Kentucky will top $600 million by the end of February. The devices have been operating in the state for 29 months.
Overnight purses at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots have been reduced 10% for the rest of the current race meet, track officials said Feb. 20.
Unless serious talks resume soon and quickly produce a settlement, Gulfstream Park and Calder Casino & Race Course appear to be headed toward another 12 months of bitter head-to-head weekend racing.
Total on-site pari-mutuel wagering at Delaware Park in 2013 totaled $149.2 million, down 4.1% from $155.5 million in 2012, according to the annual report released Feb. 6 by the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission.
An economic impact study shows the Thoroughbred and Greyhound racing and breeding industries account for at least $321 million a year in total business volume in West Virginia.
An agenda for the Jan. 15 New Jersey Racing Commission meeting lists the following item for discussion and information: a shutdown of four Atlantic City casino race books.
Citing an overall decline in wagering, Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots has canceled four stakes and cut purses for a dozen others, including the Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II), which went from $500,000 to $400,000.
- By Tom LaMarra
Wagering on harness races in the United States increased 6.07% in 2013, while purses paid were up 4%, according to statistics released Jan. 6 by the United States Trotting Association.
United States race dates declined by 3.15% in 2013 when compared to the previous year, yet total wagering and purses held steady, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators released by Equibase Jan. 5.
The Maryland Jockey Club reported average daily pari-mutuel handle on live racing was up 4.1% in 2013 versus 2012 thanks to growth in export wagering. Purses, meanwhile, continued to increase in Maryland.
Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course posted a record daily average pari-mutuel handle for its 197-night meet in 2013, a track official said Dec. 30.
With New Year's Eve approaching, it's time for Gulfstream Park and Calder Casino & Race Course to fire the first shots in their next battle over racing dates.
The Ohio State Racing Commission Dec. 19 postponed granting a new racetrack gaming facility a 2014 racing permit because its owners have decided not to have pari-mutuel clerks for live or simulcast racing.
Buoyed by an 11% increase in total commingled pari-mutul handle for the Breeders' Cup World Championships, wagering on U.S. races improved 4.37% in November compared with the same month last year.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation to create a statewide standard for rebate programs at racetracks and off-track betting corporations.
- By Tom LaMarra
Despite 25 fewer racing programs, commingled wagering on United States races increased 8.3% in October versus the same month in 2012, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators.
Strong wagering on Nov. 2 fueled an 11% increase in total commingled pari-mutuel handle for the two-day Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park, according to figures released by the organization.
Breeders' Cup reported that total commingled pari-mutuel handle for its Nov. 1 program at Santa Anita Park on Friday was up 8% from 2012.
When the overnight sheets for Nov. 1-2 at Santa Anita Park were released, Breeders' Cup officials couldn't help but be satisfied. And they're hoping it means strong pari-mutuel wagering on this year's World Championships.
Despite 12 fewer live racing days, all-sources pari-mutuel handle during the Delaware Park meet was only down about $1.5 million, while average daily handle increased 13.2%.
As the Breeders' Cup World Championships approaches its 30th edition, some things have become standard from an operations perspective, while others continue to change. As questions are answered, new ones are asked.
Pari-mutuel takeout rates and other issues were discussed during a lightly attended meeting of the New York State Racing Fan Advisory Council Oct. 19 at Belmont Park.
Racing executives indicated Oct. 9 there is little chance of the Thoroughbred racing industry developing a comprehensive analysis of lower pari-mutuel takeout rates.
- By Tom LaMarra
By 2016 the number of starters in Thoroughbred races is projected to be about 39% less than it was in 2003 based on Equibase statistics discussed Oct. 8 during the International Simulcast Conference in Lexington.
Upgrading the on-site customer experience, be it for live horse racing or full-card simulcasts, is critical to the growth of the business, panelists said Oct. 7 on the first day of the International Simulcast Conference.
Portland Meadows in Oregon concluded its short summer meet Sept. 29 with substantial increases in pari-mutuel handle.
Tampa Bay Downs finished first again in August in Florida for host-track revenue on import simulcasts, and it appears that questions about the track's year-round eligibility for host status will remain unresolved for now.
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.
- By Tom LaMarra
Wagering on United States races was strong in August, with a 4.69% increase from the same month in 2012, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators released by Equibase Sept. 4.
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 net income of $8.2 million for the first six months of 2013, up 2% from the same period in 2012 because of an increase in video lottery terminal revenue and a decrease in expenses.
Saratoga Race Course reported gains in pari-mutuel handle and attendance for its Aug. 24 Travers Stakes (gr. I) program.
Southeast Florida began its fourth head-to-head racing weekend July 27 with Gulfstream holding an almost 2-1 edge in pari-mutuel handle and Calder rejecting speculation it might soon cancel racing dates.
The first weekend showdown between Calder Casino & Race Course and Gulfstream Park had both tracks claiming some wagering success.
Seven more live racing dates during the spring meet at Pimlico Race Course led to an increase in total pari-mutuel handle, but the daily average declined, the Maryland Jockey Club reported June 11.
The inaugural $500,000 Penn Mile June 1 helped Penn National Gaming Inc. continue a trend of sharp gains in pari-mutuel handle on "big event" programs at the company's racetracks.
The Oregon Senate May 23 passed legislation authorizing Portland Meadows to install historical racing machines. The measure now goes to the governor for his consideration.
Wagering on United States racing in April registered a small year-over-year gain, but purses were down from April in 2012, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators released by Equibase May 5.
A New York lawmaker May 4 said he will introduce legislation authorizing off-track betting at New York City bars that offered it before New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. went bust and closed in 2010.
Churchill Downs set a record for its May 3 Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) program when more than $45.8 million was wagered on a 12-race card.
Atlantic City Race Course ended its six-day all turf meet May 1 with total pari-mutuel handle in excess of $1 million for a seven-race program.
Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races set another pari-mutuel handle record in April when it reported average daily handle of $1,367,336, up 1% from the same month in 2012.
Though total pari-mutuel handle during the recent winter/spring meet at Turfway Park fell almost 30% from the same meet in 2012, average daily handle was down 4% because of 11 fewer live racing days.
For the fifth consecutive year, Keeneland, which begins its spring meet April 5, topped the 2013 racetrack ratings produced by the Horseplayers Association of North America.
- By Tom LaMarra
Commingled pari-mutuel handle for March was $983,428,969, down only 0.11% from the same month in 2012, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators released by Equibase April 4.
Purses paid at six racetracks in Pennsylvania in 2012 increased 1% while wagering on the live product was up 12% from the previous year, according to the latest benchmark report prepared by regulators.
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