12/31/2013 10:59AM

Penn National sets record for daily handle in 2013


Penn National Race Course had average daily handle of $1.08 million for 197 race cards in 2013, a record for the track and an increase of 6.4 percent over the figure for the 2012 meet, according to figures released by the track.

Wagering figures for the track were bolstered by a card created by Penn National this year centering around a new race, the $500,000 Penn Mile for 3-year-olds on turf. The 10-race card, which had total purses of $1.2 million, a record for the track, drew $3.66 million in wagering, far exceeding the previous single-card handle record of $2.17 million.

Penn National is owned by the casino company Penn National Gaming Inc. Its purses are heavily subsidized by a casino at the track, under Pennsylvania’s gambling laws.

“This season definitely exceeded expectation,” said Chris McErlean, the vice president for racing at Penn National Gaming. “A terrific new racing event was created which should have even more growth potential going forward, and the entire racing team, along with the strong support of our horsemen, did a great job putting together a solid product throughout the season.”