Anne M. Eberhardt

Another Solid Month for U.S. Wagering, Purses

In September, handle on U.S. races improved 2.6% and purses were up 13.77%.

After a strong month for pari-mutuel wagering and purses in August, United States racing enjoyed another solid month in September, according to Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators released Oct. 4.

Wagering on U.S. races increased 2.6% to $794,535,798 in September compared with the same month in 2011, while purses jumped 13.77% to $107,541,521. The positive numbers follow an August in which handle was up 11.64% compared with the previous year and purses increased 21.44%.

For the year, wagering on U.S. races is up 2.32% to $8,473,614,357. The sport inches closer to its first year-over-year handle increase since 2006, when wagering was up 1.6% compared with 2005. Purses to date this year are up 9.04% to $855,006,362.

Race days, individual programs at each track, in September were up 1.42% to 500, assisting the positive moves in wagering and purses. For the year, race days are up 1.79% to 4,162.