Export Handle Fuels Charles Town Record

Average daily handle on live racing in April improved 1% from 2012.

Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races set another pari-mutuel handle record in April when it reported average daily handle of $1,367,336, up 1% from the same month in 2012.

It was the highest monthly daily average in the history of the West Virginia racetrack. Since 2009 average daily handle has increased about 30%, the racetrack reported.

According to statistics released by Charles Town, export handle on live racing averaged $1,311,108, another all-time record. That means 95.8% of wagering on the live product occurred through other betting outlets; average daily on-track handle on live racing was $56,228.

Charles Town offered 18 full programs in April that generated total handle of $24,612,046. The month was highlighted by the Charles Town Classic (gr. II) card, which alone produced handle of $4,398,984.

"We were able to reach these new heights on the back of the Charles Town Classic's evolving presence as a brand-defining event and race of national significance," said Erich Zimny, vice president of racing operations at Charles Town. "Our racing events, headed by the Charles Town Classic, have been a major catalystif not the most significant catalystfor our handle growth over the past three or four years."

Handle grew despite a decrease in field size when compared with April 2012. The Jockey Club Information Systems shows field size of 7.48 horses per race at Charles Town in April, down from 8.07 in April of last year.

Boosted by the $1.5 million Charles Town Classic, purses in April averaged $255,089 per day, up from $246,391 for 16 days in April 2012, according to TJCIS.