Penn National Handle Growth Continues in May

Central Pennsylvania track reports 9.3% jump in total live handle.

Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course continued its three-month growth in wagering compared to last year with an increase in total live handle of 9.3% in May.

The final card of the month on the night of May 31 reflected the upward business spiral, the track reported. The nine-race card, with an average field size of 8.5 starters, garnered a handle of $1,243, 994 compared to $647,027 in the 2011 comparable date.

“Thanks to the efforts of race secretary Dave Bailey and his team working hard to maintain large quality fields, we’ve had a great three-month run” said Mark Loewe, vice president of racing, in a statement. “Horsemen are responding to the condition book, and the quality of our races has gotten the attention of leading trainers from the entire mid-Atlantic region”.

Todd Pletcher, Jonathan Sheppard, Graham Motion, and Anthony Dutrow are shipping runners to Central Pennsylvania with increasing regularity. That fact has not been overlooked by bettors from across the country who are boosting export simulcast business on the Penn National races.

With 18 live racing programs in May, same as last year, export wagering on Penn National’s races jumped 51.2% from $11.6 million to $17.6 million. Total live handle that included the track’s four off-track wagering outlets and electronic wagering platform rose 9.3%, and on-track alone jumped 14.1%.

Total wagering including on-track, export, and full-card simulcasting increased 20.4% compared to May 2011.