Belmont Attendance Better, Total Handle Dips

Figures for fall meet show 10.3% decline in overall wagering, 4.6% jump in patronage.

All-source wagering dipped by more than 10% during the Belmont Park fall meet, according to the New York Racing Association, although on-track attendance improved during the 35-day stand.

The meet concluded Oct. 30. It was originally scheduled for 37 days, two more than in 2010, but one full day and a second partial day were lost due to inclement weather.

Figures released Nov. 10 showed all-sources handle, comprising all wagers made on NYRA races, fell 10.3% from last year’s meet, with $263,037,788 wagered this year as compared to $293,163,373 in 2010.

Attendance increased 4.6% to 133,369 compared with 127,540 during last year’s meet, and on-track handle on NYRA races reportedly totaled $41,656,097, up 45.4% over last year’s total of $28,656,204.

NYRA Rewards account wagering, including wagers made on simulcast races, reportedly increased 216% ($8,280,728 vs. $2,620,682), contributing to an internet wagering jump of 234% ($12,786,902 vs. $3,825,633).

Simulcast wagering, comprising wagers made on non-NYRA races, increased a reported 209% to $37,587,023, up from the $12,165,718 bet on simulcast races during last year’s meet.

The account wagering and simulcast increases were attributable to shifts in handle due to the the closure of New York City Off-Track Betting this year.

There were 123 turf races run during the 2011 Belmont fall meet, down 8.2% from the 134 turf races run last year. There were 35 races taken off the turf both years.

Total betting interests during the meet numbered 2,756, a 2% drop from last year’s 2,812, and average betting interests per race dropped 2.6%, with an average of 8.25 this year compared to 8.47 last year. This year, 334 races were run during the Belmont fall meet compared with 332 last year.