Handle, Purse Declines Continue in March

Handle, Purse Declines Continue in March
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt

Wagering continued its decline in 2009 in a year-over-year comparison, falling 9.4% through March, according to data released April 3 by Equibase.

Total wagering on U.S. races through the first quarter of the year was $3,107,300,603, down from $3,427,730,759 during the same period of 2008. The decline was heavier in March, with the $1,064,958,489 wagered representing a 13.9% drop from March 2008.

Purses also declined year-to-date and in March alone: The $215,898,223 paid through March represents a 3.5% drop, precipitated by a 6.8% fall in March to $79,448,400.

Race days increased 1.3% to 1,154 year-to-date, but declined 2.1% in March to 419 dates.

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