06/23/2016 3:28PM

Suffolk Downs gains approval for 15 percent takeout

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The Massachusetts Gaming Commission on Thursday approved a request by Suffolk Downs to drop its takeout to 15 percent across the board for its six days of live racing this year. The vote was unanimous, according to the commission.

This is the second year in which Suffolk has cut the takeout on all of its wagers to 15 percent. Last year, the track held two of its three live racing cards with a 15 percent takeout, the lowest in the country. In 2014, takeout at the track was 19 percent for win, place, and show bets, and 26 percent on all other wagers.

In partnership with the New England Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, Suffolk Downs plans to run on three weekends this year, July 9-10, Aug.  6-7, and Sept. 3-4. The live race days will be conducted in much the same manner as last year, in a fair-type atmosphere with food-truck festivals each day, according to officials. Last year, attendance was in excess of 10,000 each day, Suffolk said.

Purses, which will be heavily subsidized by revenue from casinos in the state, will be approximately $500,000 a day. Suffolk plans to pay purses down to fifth place, with all runners in the top five positions also receiving a $300 shipping bonus. All other runners in the races will receive $1,000 each regardless of finish position.