Betfair, the rapidly growing exchange-wagering provider based in Great Britain, believes it could provide up to $50 million in new revenue for itself, racetracks, and horsemen by 2008 should it be permitted to operate in the United States.
Legislation that would funnel more than $50 million a year to the Illinois racing industry cleared a House committee March 1, but it failed to win enough support after a third reading March 3.
Oaklawn Park raised overnight purses $700 per race effective March 1 because of an increase in Instant Racing revenue and overall handle.
Continuing a trend that began several years ago, on-track and total handle, as well as daily average overnight purses, at Tampa Bay Downs showed solid gains when the Florida racetrack hit the midpoint of its 2005-06 season the week of Feb. 20.
Beulah Park set an all-time one-day handle record, while Turfway Park has increased purses because of business gains.
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.
Revenue to localities in the six off-track betting regions in New York is down more than 50% from 2000 to 2004, according to the results of a study commissioned by Friends of New York Racing, the organization that seeks to build a better economic model for the pari-mutuel industry in the Empire state. Two OTB corporations, Capital and New York City, have issued responses to the report, which they believe doesn't tell the whole story.
Almost $41.5 million in handle has passed through New Jersey Account Wagering, a joint venture of the New Jersey Sports Authority and Pennwood Racing, since its launch Oct. 28, 2004.
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.
Breeders' Cup officials hope large fields and a revised race order contribute to fuel solid wagering for the Oct. 29 World Thoroughbred Championships at Belmont Park.
Racetracks and Thoroughbred horsemen in Ohio remain in a stalemate that has removed the River Downs live signal from all account-wagering services, including one in which the track has ownership.
The Ohio Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has approved the transmission of Thoroughbred signals from Ohio to the TV Games Network and XpressBet, and also approved the sending of the signal from Thistledown to Youbet.com. However, it has failed strike a deal with AmericaTAB, the account-wagering company owned by Ohio interests.
The Aug. 6-7 weekend of racing in New Jersey generated on-track attendance of more than 75,000 and a handle record of more than $21 million, according to the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority.
If horsemen believe they aren't receiving adequate compensation for their product, it's within their rights to be directly involved in the setting of host fees, a consultant said July 22 during the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association summer convention in Toronto, Ontario.
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."
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association's strategic plan for the next five years clearly reflects a shift in priorities for the organization, though many of the core focus areas remain intact from its first business plan issued in 1997.
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.
Youbet.com has closed on its acquisition of International Racing Group, a Curacao-based account-wagering service, for $3 million. The purchase price includes $2 million in cash and $1 million worth of Youbet.com treasury stock.
Total wagering on the TV Games Network increased 42% in 2004, and grew 29% in the fourth-quarter of 2004, the network said in a Feb. 24 release. The increase in business was punctuated by record single-day total wagering of $5,148,375 on May 1, Kentucky Derby (gr. I) day.
Total Thoroughbred purses increased 3.42%--mostly from a limited number of sources--in 2004, while total handle on Thoroughbred races run in the United States declined less than 1%, according to a year-end "Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators" report released Jan. 12.
The TV Games Network generated its highest quarterly handle in history from July 1-Sept. 30, when $90,684,755 was bet through the account wagering system. The figure is up 41% from the third quarter of 2003.
The Oct. 30 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Lone Star Park set several handle records, including an all-sources mark that topped the previous standard by a little more than $200,000.
Del Mar set a record for total handle during its meet that ended Sept. 8, while on-track business at the Southern California track held its own.
Ellis Park is expected to return to a five-day live racing week next year on the heels of a 2004 meet that produced an increase in total handle but double-digit decreases in average daily handle and on-track business.
Though pari-mutuel handle on Thoroughbred racing in the United States and Canada dropped slightly in the second quarter of 2004, purses increased 2.86%, according to the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Equibase.
More money was wagered in New York on out-of-state races than in-state races in 2003, the first time such a shift has occurred, according to a new report by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board.
Indiana Downs closed out its 48-day Thoroughbred meet June 20 with new records, but statistically, the Shelbyville racetrack had mixed results for its second season. While the track experienced an increase in simulcast handle and attendance, on-track handle and number of starters per race were down for the meet.
A decrease in handle in Ohio so far this year has led the Ohio State Racing Commission to reduce funding for the Ohio Thoroughbred Race Fund.
Tampa Bay Downs, the only Thoroughbred racetrack on Florida's Gulf Coast, continued to make forward strides during its 2003-04 meet with substantial gains in attendance and handle.
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.
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