Michael Burns

Woodbine Has Per-Card Wagering Rise in 2013

The 131-day meet enjoyed a 6.4% increase in all-sources handle average from 2012.

Woodbine reported a 6.4% increase in average daily all-source handle for the 2013 Thoroughbred race meet than concluded Dec. 15.

According to track figures released Dec. 19, the 131-day meet produced all-sources per card wagering of $3,095,872, an increase over the $2,909,394 per card recorded in 2012.

The overall wagering was $405,559,284, compared to $453,865,564 in 2012, which featured 25 more race days.

Wagering in the greater Toronto area rose 0.94% in 2013 over 2012.

"In the face of dramatic change, I'm very proud of our 2013 Thoroughbred season," said Nick Eaves, Woodbine's president and chief executive officer, in a release. "A record modern-day crowd enjoyed an historic Queen's Plate day and we saw overall per-card wagering rise for a fifth consecutive year. We delivered more value to the Woodbine customer than ever before."

Midnight Aria was the star of the Queen's Plate, winning the race by a half-length over Up With the Birds on a day that generated a record-breaking handle of $9.7 million.

"We received an enthusiastic response from customers for our fan-focused initiatives, which included a takeout reduction," said Eaves. "Woodbine now offers a continent-low 14.95% takeout on win wagers. We also introduced the Jackpot Hi 5, in which two winning tickets, worth $275,000 and $148,000 each, were celebrated since the launch of the wager in October. Other recent horseplayer-concentrated programs like fractional wagering were also expanded."

Woodbine continued its commitment to corporate social responsibility efforts with its Corporate Community Investment Program, which assists local charitable organizations with financial donations and sponsorships.

More than 2,700 hours were volunteered by the company's employees and staff in 2013.

"I am gratified by the way in which so many Woodbine employees gave their time," said Eaves. "Woodbine has a responsibility to the community, which extends beyond our role as an engine of economic growth and employment. Our employees took this responsibility to heart and gave back to our community and industry in many different ways."

Opening day for the 2014 Thoroughbred racing season, set for 133 dates, is scheduled for April 12.

Standardbred racing continues at Woodbine through the winter, including a special Boxing Day card that features a 1 p.m. EST post time.