Pari-mutuel handle, purses, and race days all declined in May compared with the same month in 2008, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators released June 4.
A 16.4% increase in average daily handle from out-of-state wagering outlets fueled an 8.9% jump in average daily handle from all sources during the spring meet at Pimlico Race Course.
Presque Isle Downs & Casino near Erie, Pa., will begin its 100-night meet May 8 with more exposure for its signal.
The New Jersey racing scene shifts to Monmouth Park May 9 after kicking off with a six-day Atlantic City Race Course meet at which total handle quadrupled.
A "benchmark report" on slot machines in Pennsylvania shows a 39.3% increase in purses paid at Thoroughbred and Standardbred racetracks from 2007 to 2008, but double-digit declines in total pari-mutuel handle during the same period.
Wagering on United States races in February totaled $999,815,818, down 11.63% from $1,131,333,323 the same month a year earlier despite a 3.38% increase in the number of racing days.
A switch to five-day racing weeks and a long stretch of dry weather are among the factors helping Gulfstream Park buck an industry trend of lower pari-mutuel handle.
Pari-mutuel handle was down 1.56% in January compared with the same month in 2008, but the decline wasn't close to the 20.3% slip in handle in December 2008 versus a year earlier.
Hawthorne Race Course in Illinois registered gains in average daily total handle for its 2008-09 fall/winter meet thanks to increases in out-of-state wagering. On-track and in-state handle on Hawthorne races declined, however.
A Kentucky lawmaker is preparing racing-related legislation with a primary goal of funding the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, equine drug testing, and supplements for purses and stakes at the state's racetracks.
Economic conditions have led the operators of Pinnacle Race Course in Michigan to put some expansion plans on hold, but the track's inaugural meet in 2008 exceeded expectations, officials said.
Wagering on Thoroughbred races fell almost 10% in November compared with November 2007, Equibase reported Dec. 3 in its monthly "Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators." Purses dropped more than 2%, but race days increased more than 5%.
A study released by Ohio State Racing Commission offers a short-term action plan and a long-term strategy for the struggling horseracing industry in the Buckeye State, but one racetrack official said the quickest fix lies with the pen of Gov. Ted Strickland.
Calder Race Course will not hold any overnight stakes through the rest of its meet that ends Jan. 2, 2009. Five have been cut from the next condition book, which runs through Dec. 14.
Legislation that would require racetracks to submit detailed daily reports on pari-mutuel handle and attendance, and various parties to submit racehorse injury reports, has been pre-filed for the 2009 session of the Kentucky General Assembly.
Handle for the 25th Breeders' Cup World Championships was up 5.5% over last year's event, according to preliminary data released Oct. 26.
Handle on races in the United States sharply dropped 9.85% in the third quarter of this year, clearly in keeping with a trend that began in early 2008.
Kentucky Downs wrapped up its 16th season of live racing with increases in on-track business for its six-day turf-only race meet that ended Sept. 23.
Total purses earned at Pennsylvania racetracks jumped 162% from 2006 to 2007 because of revenue from on-track slot machines, while the percentage of purses earned from pari-mutuel wagering dropped substantially during the same period, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board's first "benchmark report" on the impact of slots on pari-mutuel wagering.
The Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group, which advocates a new economic model for pari-mutuel wagering and has been engaged in high-profile battles in the racing industry, isn't going away anytime soon, its president said July 18.
Despite downward trends in wagering nationwide, Indiana Downs bucked the trend by staying relatively flat during its 54-day Thoroughbred meet that ended July 8.
Pari-mutuel handle took a hit but purses gained a bit in the second quarter of 2008, according to the "Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators" for United States and Canadian pari-mutuel wagering on U.S. Thoroughbred racing.
The New York Racing Association reported that 94,476 were on hand under sunny skies on a sweltering day at Belmont Park June 7 to witness yet another Triple Crown upset, with longshot Da' Tara going wire to wire in the 140th Belmont Stakes (gr. I). The victory ended heavily favored Big Brown's attempt to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.
The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and Churchill Downs Inc. are planning to meet June 9 to discuss contracts for CDI-owned Calder Race Course, where the financial impacts of a dispute are worsening each week.
Calder Race Course and all other Florida tracks are facing the prospect of not receiving the signal for the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and its Pimlico Race Course undercard.
Calder Race Course on May 9 announced it will cut purses for eight upcoming stakes, including six on its July 12 Summit of Speed card.
A Churchill Downs Inc. official said May 7 purses at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., could be cut the week of May 11, while Calder Race Course in South Florida could face another reduction in purses.
Indiana Downs enjoyed a promising start to its 54-day Thoroughbred meet April 25-26, with large crowds and strong wagering. Indiana Downs will offer racing through July 8.
Florida horsemen and officials at Calder Race Course and parent company Churchill Downs Inc. met April 14 but did not agree on contracts for the Calder meet that begins April 21.
As Calder Race Course prepares to open its 2008 meet April 21, the question of how to divide any future slot-machine revenue is holding up contract talks between the Miami Gardens, Fla., track and the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protection Association.
Turfway Park ended its 2008 winter/spring meet with declines in wagering on its races both on track and from all sources.
Gulfstream Park reported its all-sources pari-mutuel handle is down about 5% and on-track handle off 30% year-to-date through early March.
Rollercoaster weather conditions continue to plague Beulah Park, which canceled live racing March 5. It was the fourth consecutive full or partial card that was canceled, and dates lost during the meet are in the double digits.
Gulfstream Park's $75,000 Shotintheheart Handicap Feb. 14 will be the first of as many as four Florida-bred stakes it will add this season.
Overall wagering and on-track attendance at Hollywood Park increased during the 32-day fall meet that ended Dec. 22.
The year 2008 probably will bring some experimentation to Turfway Park, which has asked the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority for permission to switch from evening to daytime racing on Wednesdays and Thursdays during its three-month winter/spring meet.
The impact of television on account wagering will be watched closely during an experiment in California that began Nov. 7 with the opening of Golden Gate Fields and Hollywood Park.
A controversial plan to shave live racing dates at Thistledown in 2008 could result in the halt of full-card simulcasts at the Cleveland-area racetrack in 2009.
Suffolk Downs officials are hoping 2007 was a year the racetrack and the Massachusetts Thoroughbred industry turned yet another corner toward a brighter, stable future.
Delaware Park, one of Thoroughbred racing's pioneers in terms of combining racing and video gaming, ended its 2007 meet Nov. 4 with declines in total handle and field size, though purses paid increased about $1 million.
Carnegie Cooke & Co, under its Brazilian brand "betBrasil," reported record pari-mutuel handle for its first simulcast of the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
Kentucky Downs concluded its 2007 meet with its second-highest on-track handle and third-largest total handle in the racetrack's 17-year history, officials said closing day, Sept. 25.
An increase in field size and familiarity with the product has led to some growth in business at Presque Isle Downs, which began its inaugural meet Sept. 1.
An experiment by which the blended pari-mutuel takeout rate at Laurel Park was cut in half proved popular in theory but not at the betting windows. But was it a bust?
Attendance was up 60% to 63,566 from the corresponding day last year, and handle increased 12.5% to HK$825 million on opening day of the Hong Kong racing season at Sha Tin racecourse.
The 15th International Simulcast Conference in Kansas City, Mo., Sept. 17-19 will focus on the impact of 21st-century technology on the pari-mutuel industry and the wagering routine of North American bettors.
Capitol Racing at Les Bois Park wrapped up its 46-day live racing season Aug. 11 with double-digit increases in on-track attendance and handle.
Attendance, on-track handle, and all-sources handle remain up through three weeks of the Saratoga meet when compared with figures for the comparable period in 2006, the New York Racing Association announced Aug. 13.
The Saratoga meet got a quick jump out of the gate, with the New York Racing Association reporting a 14% increase in attendance and double-digit increases in handle during the first six days of the session.
In a program billed "Ten Days at 10 Percent -- Racing's Best Bet," pari-mutuel takeout on Maryland's live races will be cut in half during Laurel Park's 10-day summer meet that runs from Aug. 10-23.
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