Despite a slight decline in wagering in December, total pari-mutuel handle on United States racing in 2012 was up 0.96%, the first increase since 2006, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators.
Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course reported a 19.4% increase in all-sources pari-mutuel handle for 197 live racing days in 2012. Meanwhile, total purses jumped 11.6%.
Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races reported that, for the first time in the track's 79 years of operation, average daily pari-mutuel handle topped the $1 million mark.
Turfway Park is following through with its plan to increase purses across the board when its winter/spring meet begins Jan. 1, 2013. The new condition book at the Kentucky racetrack reflects increases of 13% to about 35%.
The Ohio State Racing Commission Dec. 13 approved the distribution of more than $1.77 million in revenue racing has received from non-track casinos in the state.
Considering there were 13 fewer race days during the month of November compared to 2011 due to the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, pari-mutuel handle was down only slightly while purses showed a small increase.
Canterbury Park will offer a 69-day Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse meet in 2013, and purses will increase 25% from 2012 levels, officials said.
With the number of U.S. race days in October down 7.86% from the comparable month a year ago, wagering on U.S. races fell 8.79%, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators from Equibase Company.
Cutting the number of Thoroughbred race dates in Ontario and reducing purses are some of the recommendations put forth by the government commissioned Horse Racing Transition Panel in a final report released Oct. 30.
Racing continues to show some growth in 2012. In September, handle on U.S. races improved 2.6% and purses were up 13.77%.
Turfway Park struggled to fill fields early in the meet and missed a big-handle day in the Kentucky Cup Day of Champions as handle and purses fell at the fall meet.
Del Mar's horsemen earned an extra 10% payment on top of already record-breaking purse payouts as final figures became available for the track's 2012 summer racing season.
- By Tom LaMarra
Aided by an increase in race days, pari-mutuel handle and purses in August registered the largest gains in recent memory, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators released Sept. 5.
Laurel Park will begin a 69-day meet Sept. 5 with average daily purses of $240,000 and an expanded stakes schedule.
Citing uncertainty due to the scheduled end of its slots-at-racetracks program in March 2013, Woodbine has submitted a request to the Ontario Racing Commission to cancel 11 Thoroughbred Thursday afternoon programs.
Oaklawn Park's 2013 live meeting will be the richest in the Arkansas track's 109-year history. Purses will total close to $20 million during the 56-day season, Jan. 11-April 13.
Pari-mutuel handle remained slightly ahead of last year even though it was down 7.37% in July when compared with the same month in 2011, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators released by Equibase.
Saratoga Race Course has released its first 2012 condition book, and it shows a substantial increase in purses.
Protecting purse revenue from alternative gaming can be as hard, or harder, than winning legislative approval for it, horsemen said June 30 during a National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association roundtable talk.
Indiana Downs got the go-ahead to resume training June 16 and live racing June 18 after the Indiana Horse Racing Commission ruled horsemen's assertions the dirt surface is unsafe were "unfounded and uncorroborated."
Canterbury Park raised purses 35% and added a $150,000 stakes after the Minnesota Racing Commission approved a purse and marketing pact between the racetrack and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community.
Canterbury Park Holding Corp. and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community struck a 10-year "cooperative marketing agreement" by which the tribe will funnel $75 million in purses to the Minnesota racetrack.
Slot machine revenue for purses increased by more than $19 million at six Pennsylvania racetracks in 2011, while pari-mutuel handle and the revenue it produces for prize money continued to drop.
After months of wrangling over minor details in the contract for the 2012 live meet that begins June 2, Suffolk Downs and the New England Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association have reached an agreement.
Finger Lakes Casino & Racetrack in western New York will celebrate its 50th year of Thoroughbred racing with a 163-day meet that begins April 20.
Presque Isle Downs & Casino now has 668 stalls after building two 48-stall barns in advance of its 2012 meet, officials said April 17.
- By Tom LaMarra
Purses and pari-mutuel handle on Thoroughbred races continued a solid rebound in March with a slight increase in race days, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators released by Equibase.
A 167-day meet at Woodbine in Ontario, Canada, is set to begin April 6, but the lingering slots-at-racetracks issue could make the 2012 meet the last one of its kind.
Keeneland will begin its spring meet April 6 with full fields and quiet optimism in what has become a very competitive Thoroughbred racing environment in terms of purse money and horse population.
All-sources pari-mutuel handle on Turfway Park races during its winter/spring meet dropped 11.2%, while ontrack handle on live racing was down 16.5%, track officials said April 2.
SunRay Park Racetrack has announced its Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse stakes schedule for its 42-day meet, which begins April 20.
A recently released study shows horse racing has a $5.7 billion economic impact in Canada, and that racing in the province of Ontario accounts for 26% of total expenditures for the Canadian horse industry.
Sam Houston Race Park reported a 35% increase in live pari-mutuel handle and a 40% jump in attendance for its 31-day Thoroughbred meet, which ended March 12.
The Blood-Horse's annual review of North American purses from the pages of the March 10, 2012, edition. Download Report
- By Tom LaMarra
Unseasonably warm weather in February no doubt contributed to a 7.60% increase in wagering on United States races.
In yet another sign of trouble for the Kentucky horse racing industry, Turfway Park said it will slash overnight purses 25% effective March 3 because of an overpayment coupled with lower pari-mutuel handle.
An increase in pari-mutuel handle has led Gulfstream Park to raise purses 15% through the end of its meet, which concludes April 8.
Stakes purses at the Belmont Park and Saratoga meets this year will increase roughly 27%, while overnight purses will jump about 42%, the New York Racing Association said Feb. 29.
Officials at Oaklawn Park said that with an additional $800,000 in purse money through the end of the meet, purses will total a record $18 million for the 56-day session.
Oaklawn Park said overnight purses will increase $5,000 per day effective Feb. 9 because of improved business aided by good weather.
The New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association has submitted a plan to the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority to lease Monmouth Park beginning this year.
After posting a rare gain in December, wagering on North American racing took a small step backward in January, with total handle from all sources down 1.1% from January 2011.
Fairmount Park and the Illinois Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association have agreed upon an increased purse structure for 2012 thanks to the racetrack's share of casino impact funding it received last year.
The ability to fill a greater number of higher-level races in December has led Turfway Park to trim some stakes toward the end of its 2012 winter/spring meet to meet the purse budget.
Revenue from slot machines and table games at 10 casinos in Pennsylvania in 2011 topped $3 billion for the first time, state officials said Jan. 18.
Laurel Park will soon raise purses roughly 10% across the board to a figure that will top the 2011 daily averages at two nearby racetrack casinos with which it competes for horses.
Hawthorne Race Course will offer bonus money for larger fields during its spring meet, track officials announced Dec. 26.
A New York task force has recommended a percentage of revenue from video lottery terminals and purse accounts go toward retraining and retirement programs for racehorses in the state.
Maryland racing industry officials already have scheduled their first meeting to devise a long-term strategy for live racing in the state beyond 2012.
National handle on Thoroughbred racing continued to decline in November, though the dip is not nearly as pronounced as it was a year ago at this time.
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