11/14/2008 1:00AM

Suffolk handle rises overall


A push to reach more simulcast outlets and in-home wagering markets helped Suffolk Downs post increases in overall handle in 2008 despite decreases in attendance and ontrack handle.

The East Boston track's average daily all-sources handle of $1,000,492 on its races for the 102-day meet was up nearly 11 percent from last year's 100-day average. The increase was fueled by a 13 percent rise in offtrack and account wagering on Suffolk races.

Average daily attendance was 3,045, down 7 percent from 2007. Suffolk's daily average ontrack handle of $122,701 was a decrease of 7 percent.

"We made a concerted effort to make our simulcast signal available in more places this year," said Suffolk's chief operating officer, Chip Tuttle, who also cited the availability of the track's signal on Television Games Network as a boon.