Led by strong performances from Twinspires.com and Youbet.com, collective handle for the four largest domestic advance deposit wagering platforms increased by roughly 15% in the first quarter of the year, while their overall share of the national betting pie grew by more than 2%.
Wagering was up on several segments of the Preakness day card, according to data released May 18 by Maryland Jockey Club officials, fueled in part by the showdown between Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Mine That Bird and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) victress Rachel Alexandra.
Flush off a quarter in which it saw increased handle and profit, Youbet.com said May 13 it would look at possibly establishing a presence in another country in an effort to expand its wagering offerings beyond horse racing.
Citing the absence of insurance payments received in 2008, Churchill Downs Inc. reported a net loss of $4.8 million in the first quarter of the year, but said a 12% increase in net revenues were attributed to strength in its Louisiana gaming business and on-line wagering operation.
Total wagering from all sources on the 13-race Kentucky Derby card May 2 at Churchill Downs was $155,969,770, a decline of 5.3% from the $164,668,176 wagered a year earlier on 12 races, the track has reported.
Even though TVG, TwinsSpires.com, and XpressBet.com enjoyed handle growth in 2008, total wagers processed by advance deposit wagering entities through hubs in Oregon decreased for the first time this decade, though the numbers are skewed by actions related to another member of the "Big Four," Youbet.com.
Churchill Downs has seen some weakness in ticket sales for its annual Derby-Oaks weekend extravaganza, but feels there is enough interest in the events to produce another strong showing for the racetrack company.
Despite comments from TrackNet Media Group that negotiations are "going backwards" over issues involving racing signals to Nevada racebooks, the player on the other side of the table offered guarded hope matters can be resolved before a Jan. 25 cut-off deadline.
Gulfstream Park is hoping that a move to a five-day race week will help produce larger fields and attract more live fans and other bettors on days that have proven more popular than its newly-dark Mondays.
Remington Park in Oklahoma recently completed its 20th season of Thoroughbred racing with a record purse disbursement and increased attendance, but followed national trends with a decline in most wagering statistics.
The 37-day 2008 Belmont fall meeting, which ended on Oct. 26, produced mixed business results. All-sources handle on NYRA races was $356.3 million, compared with the 2007 figure of $346.5 million, for an increase of 2.8%. Because the 2008 meet included four more days than the 2007 meet, there was actually an 8.3% decline in the equivalent daily average all-sources handle figure.
Early handicapping on signal distribution of the Breeders' Cup World Championships shows the prestigious event will be available to a wide variety of outlets and bettors, at first glance calming fears of any "signal wars" fallout evident in other revenue-sharing disputes involving advance deposit wagering.
Evangeline Downs Racetrack and Casino's recently concluded 2008 spring/summer Thoroughbred season posted all-time highs in average nightly handle, single-night handle, average field size, and purse distribution for the 84-night meet.
Severe thunderstorms, heavy rain, and nearly continuous inclement conditions played havoc on attendance and handle figures during the third week of the 2008 Saratoga Race Course meet, according to the New York Racing Association, Inc.
Wagering has dropped 11% on North American Thoroughbred racing since the end of the Triple Crown series -- at least by one indicator -- a disturbing trend that can likely be attributed to a variety of factors.
Monmouth Park officials said two nearby off-track wagering parlors and skyrocketing gasoline prices have led to decreases in attendance and on-track handle nearly one month into the New Jersey racetrack's 2008 meet.
Hampered by a double-digit handle decline on its biggest race card, the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I), Pimlico Race Course realized a 16.5% drop in all-sources wagering for its 31-day meet that closed June 7.
All-sources handle dropped nearly 2% on the May 3 card of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), a result a Churchill Downs official blamed on the fallout from an ongoing dispute with horsemen over signal distribution.
Perhaps feeling the effects of an ongoing dispute with horsemen over signal distribution, handle on the May 2 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) program was down about 7%, according to numbers released by the track.