Anne M. Eberhardt

U.S. Wagering Decline Shows Improvement

Overall, handle has declined 7.14% for first seven months of the year.

In the best showing of U.S. racing economic indicators since January, wagering on U.S. races in July fell only 1.96% when compared with the same month a year ago.

According to the figures from Equibase, $1.029 billion was wagered from all sources on U.S. races during the month, compared with $1.049 billion in July 2009. Since January, when wagering was down 1.56%, the monthly declines have been 13%, 6.2%, 2.5%, 8.3%, and 5.8%, from February through June, respectively.

For the year, wagering on U.S. races has totaled $7.014 billion, down 7.14% from the $7.554 billion figure through the first seven months of 2009.

In July, there were 3.23% fewer races than in July 2009, with 630. U.S. purses declined nominally, from $110 million in July 2009, to $109.5 million this year.

Through July, there were 5.5% fewer races run this year than last, with $586.1 million in purses representing a decline of 4.7%.