Turfway Park, which wrapped up its winter/spring meet April 1, reported across-the-board business increases even though it lost nine full cards and parts of six others during the session that began Jan. 1.
Five account-wagering hubs in Oregon handled $226.97 million in the fourth quarter of 2003, up $75.72 million from the same period in 2002, according to Oregon Racing Commission statistics.
Despite numerous cancellations because of weather or track conditions, Turfway Park has registered business gains during the winter/spring meet that extends through April 1. And with live racing set to resume March 10, it appears the racing surface finally has dried out after a washed-out weekend.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association's Executive Committee will decide Feb. 3 whether to move forward with a plan to create an offshore wagering hub that would accept wagers from bettors outside the United States in an attempt to increase handle and generate revenue for purses.
The Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has asked the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association to agree to mediation in an effort to resolve "program and policy differences" between the Thoroughbred and Standardbred industries in the state.
Turfway Park has hiked purses for Kentucky-breds in some high-level races, and also reported that numbers for the first nine live racing days of 2004 show business is on the rebound.
Total handle on Thoroughbred racing in the United States and Canada increased by only 0.9% in 2003, according to the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Equibase.
A two-month shutdown of Beulah Park was averted Dec. 18 when the Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and track management agreed to at least negotiate revenue splits from account wagering. If no deal is in place by Feb. 10, horsemen will withdraw permission for Ohio's live racing product to be sent to account-betting providers.
Changes in first post time and fuller fields have produced pari-mutuel gains this season for Portland Meadows, which on Dec. 1 cleared the half-million-dollar mark in total handle for a program for the first time in 15 years.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association's operation of wagering hub in Oregon met with much resistance from some of its member racetracks at the beginning of the decade, but one thing's for certain: The concept has caught on, even though the NTRA is no longer a player.
The 2003 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships was a record-setter in terms of handle, both on track at Santa Anita Park and throughout the world via simulcasting. Meanwhile, despite several longshots, there was one winning ticket worth more than $2.6 million in the Breeders' Cup Ultra Pick 6.
Gulfstream Park established a Florida record for pari-mutuel handle for a single race meet with $825.3 million wagered during its 89-day season in 2003, but attendance was down.
Year-end "Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators" for pari-mutuel wagering in the United States and Canada show increases in total wagering and purses in 2002.
If horse racing is to gain ground, racing interests and state lawmakers must find a way to integrate pari-mutuel wagering with electronic gaming devices, said Dr. Richard Thalheimer, professor of equine administration at the University of Louisville.
Keeneland completed its 2002 fall meet Oct. 26 with increases in most categories, including total pari-mutuel handle.
Turfway Park concluded its 2002 fall meet the evening of Oct. 3 with litle change in total on-track handle compared with the 2002 meet. Total handle fell 5% because of a decrease in out-of-state wagering.
The topic of rebates, and whether they are good for the pari-mutuel industry, headed the opening day of the International Simulcasting Conference in Bal Harbour, Fla. Nearly 400 individuals representing more than 200 different organizations registered for the annual meeting.
Aided by balmy late fall weather, Hawthorne Race Course posted improved numbers for on-site and total handle during its November-December meet. Hawthorne wound up operations on New Year's Day.
Numbers in most categories were up during the Oak Tree Racing Association meet that concluded Nov. 5 at Santa Anita Park. Total, in-state, and out-of-state handle were up from the corresponding meet in 2000.
It won't be easy to gauge the results of Keeneland's pari-mutuel takeout reduction, and the decision by the Mid-Atlantic racetracks and New York off-track betting corporations to drop the Kentucky track's signal because of concerns over a drop in revenue.
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The NTRA Services wagering hub in Oregon handled $6,133,521 for the first quarter of 2001, by far the highest figure for a three-period since the first report was submitted early last year. The handle, generated by bettors in Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, and Oregon, is almost twice as large as the handle recorded for the first three months of 2000.
Total pari-mutuel handle in the United States crept up 0.7% to $18.16 billion in 1999, according to the latest statistical information released by the Association of Racing Commissioners International. Handle on horse races was up 1.7% from 1998, while Greyhound and jai alai handle fell 4.8% and 11.6%, respectively.
Thistledown's plan to revamp its racing program to compete for horses with nearby Mountaineer Park in West Virginia has paid off, at least very early in its 2001 meet. Track general manager Bill Murphy said the increase in field size had much to do with the spike in handle.
The annual statistical report for 1998 issued this month by the Association of Racing Commissioners International shows that simulcasting accounted for 80% of total horse racing handle.
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