07/08/2013 2:33PM

Total handle in U.S drops in June, but raceday average rises


Wagering on U.S. races fell in June of this year compared with the same month last year, according to figures released last week by Equibase, but race days fell at a greater rate, leading to higher handle per race day.

Total wagering on U.S. races during June was $934.15 million, down 1.6 percent compared with wagering of $949.01 million during June of last year. Race days fell 3.5 percent, from 596 in June 2012 to 575 in June this year. That resulted in a 2.1 percent jump in wagering per race day, from $1.592 million last June to $1.625 million this year.

Race days have been contracting in the United States because of sizeable declines in the foal crop over the past few years. Because the most heavy declines occurred for the foal crops of 2010 and 2011, race days are expected to continue to decline for at least several more years as racetracks endeavor to maintain competitive field sizes.

Purses distributed during the month of June this year were marginally lower than purses distributed in June of last year, down 0.2 percent, from $109.52 million in June, 2012, to $109.29 million in June this year, according to Equibase. Purses at U.S. racetracks are heavily subsidized by casino revenue.

For the year, wagering is down 0.8 percent, while race days are down 3.5 percent. Total purses are down 1.7 percent, according to Equibase.

john snooty More than 1 year ago
the elephant in the room is the large players that now choose to use 'offshore' online accounts that offer 100% paybacks ...no withholdings ... up to 3% rebates on all wagers .... until the industry can reel back in these 'whales' ...the numbers will continue to trend downwards
mikey More than 1 year ago
How about 10% rebates.
scott More than 1 year ago
Handle per race day is up over a year ago. 934 million was bet last month and the US will handle around 10 billion this year.... the game is far from dead. If you think there are only a few races worth betting a day, then you flat out cannot handicap.
Bob More than 1 year ago
, Poker has taken over people. Tables and tables are filled with people of all ages looking for a quick return . Even sports betting is down. People don't want to wait 3.5 hours for a football game to end to collect even money. Only true horse race fans enjoy this sport not the bettor if that makes sense. How many people do you see on a line turnaround and bet the odds not the horse? Loads of them. I know loads of people who bet on jockeys not the horse so how can racing inherit new fans ? Thats a joke as jockeys lose at least 80% of the time.... Russel Base has lost about 38500 races and al we hear is about his 12000 wins. most of those were on even money horses so youre losing if uou bet him. haha. Horses are retired right after a few wins, people just want a quick profit . They don't even know the name of the horse who he is etc....
Ian GW More than 1 year ago
A lot has to be NY. I haven't bet Belmont all meet. Their cards have been awful. Even Monmouth is weak.
Wonderagain More than 1 year ago
Plain and simple interesting races are too few and far between. If it continues, handle numbers and racing content will get worse.
Bob More than 1 year ago
Not at all. People just want action. I was at Calder Saturday and during the running of the Suburban , it amazed me how many people did not look up to watch it on the TV. They likely don't even know who Flat Out is. They were betting meaningless races at Arlington , Hollywod, etc.... So race importance is not important to MOST people. They just want the action win or lose.
Paul Weinstock Sr. More than 1 year ago
Too many short fields, sometimes on sat. card 6,7,8, filly and mare races. It is impossible for racing to work until tracks quit working against each other. With casino and simulcasting revenue, it is not imperative for tracks to run extended meets, or 13 or 14 races on a sat. card with crap fields, (Calder), which by the way has the least to offer. Just look at what they handle. Why is PA. running 3 meets at the same time and 2 of their tracks all year round. with mostly 6 horse fields providing no one scratches out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If I don't have a big winning day soon, i'm going to quit to
David Smith More than 1 year ago
racing the last 2 or 3 years has got to the point where if you look at the best tracks on a Saturday..You might be lucky to find a few bettable races...i'm surprised they don't just shut the doors now.. I'm 49 and when I go to the track.. 95 percent of people are older than me..Young people are not going to get hooked on this game..It just really sucks now..Have not seen anything getting better either..most tracks are on life support now..
mikey More than 1 year ago
Who wants to hang around for 30 minutes till the next race.Read the form not the new kids.I am 66 and went to West palm beech for simo last year.We are all around the same age.I said look around how many of the crowd in this room will be here in 10 years.(WE MIGHT NOT BE)We were the kids in the room.
Bob More than 1 year ago
Miley, Poker has taken over. Tables and tables are filled with people of all ages looking for a quick return . Even sports betting is down. People don't want to wait 3.5 hours for a football game to end to collect even money. Only true horse race fans enjoy this sport not the bettor if that makes sense. How many people do you see on a line turnaround and bet the odds not the horse? Loads of them . They don't even know the name of the horse who he is etc....
jeff richardson More than 1 year ago
There are too many tracks, period. Too many bad, broke down horses. Too many bad riders. We could do with about 10 tracks less than we currently have nationally. Racetracks just don't get it. They don't understand marketing. On a typical day you have multiple tracks running races at the same time. How hard is it to stagger the post times at least at the major tracks so races are not going off at same time? That hurts handle at ALL the tracks because the $2 bettor has to pick and choose his spots. Woodbine, Monmouth, Calder and Gulfstream ALL have first post times of 1:50 EST on weekends. How dumb is that? Watch the NCAA March Madness and see how they smartly stagger all tip off's so fans can see more games without so much conflict. It's almost comical that track executives are paid big bucks and can't figure out that that's not a bright idea. Inconsistent DQ's are another thing driving me from the game. A horse gets taken down one day for a flimsy infraction, then the next day a horse does much worse and is allowed to stay up. It's a joke. Close tracks like Beulah, Ellis, Thistledown, where you have broken down nags and ham and egg type incompetent riders. Also America has it's worse group of riders ever currently. Losing Day McCarron, Bailey, Pincay, Santos, Delahoussaye, Migliore, Antley and now Dominguez has left a HUGE void in our best riders. Right now, we have Joel Rosario and John Velasquez who are TRULY great riders. Other than that, most of these guys are average journeymen. Another thing I hate is all the scratches at EVERY track nowadays. Even when it's sunny, fast/firm. I spend all my time handicapping, just to get to the track and see half the field is scratched, totally changing the complexion/pace scenarios etc. It's no secret why. Tracks take entries just to fill races, when they know all along many of the horses are not actually going to run. They hustle horses to get enough entries for the race to go, then they scratch half of the field. 30 minutes is too long between races. Casual fans do not wanna spend their entire day at the track, especially in summer with other fun outdoor options. 22-24 minutes should be plenty of time. Mainly I get turned off by all the bad riders who somehow continue to get mounts despite their incompetence. You see the same idiots taking horses 8 wide on both turns. Or dropping their horses a mile behind walking early fractions with no sense of pace. Many riders just ride for the mount fees. They could care less about really trying. The mount fee alone is more than most people make and they get that even if they come in last. I say only pay out purses to the top 3 finishers. Especially since we now run so many 5-6 horse fields everyday. Why pay a jock a percentage of the purse below 3rd place? Make these guys only get paid above the mount fee for hitting the board. Don't reward mediocrity. If they only got paid for being in the top 3, maybe we'd get better rides. Every day you see multiple races where the fractions are 24, 49, 115, yet there are moron riders 20 lengths back off the pace strangling their horses. Any fool knows you cannot make up ground when so far behind a pace like that. Just as you cannot give up valuable ground on turns and go wide and expect your horse to overcome it and win anyway. Trim the fat in racing, weed out the garbage. Calder and Gulfstream running head to head? Has there ever been a dumber idea?? typical of horse racing though.
Tom Mallios More than 1 year ago
ray, please do not ever think so called "cheating " is a major reason the game has declined and will take an upswing when it is addressed. my friend there were cheaters before you and i were around. there are cheaters now and always will be . cheating does not seem to bother the tracks . most estute handicappers incorporate it into their thinking. the only time the tracks have gone or will go after the cheaters is if god forbid a horse goes down and you have fatalities. then the public pressure will become public. then the blind mice who run the game will have to act in haste. no plans in motion. just reaction to a reaction.
mikey More than 1 year ago
Bingo the young kids of today will not give the money to cheaters.They play poker and bet on themselfs.
Tom Mallios More than 1 year ago
mikey ,they play poker because it is constant action.you can learn to play in 1 hour. not to downplay the pros.that is a different level.but just to play ,you can learn right away. not the case with betting horses,unless you bet names and numbers.
mikey More than 1 year ago
I have played this game for over 50 years.The horses of today have weak form if any.Never have i found such bad racing on a daily basis.More inside info now than ever before.The cheaters of today will not stop until they get caught.The old timers picked their spots .
Tom Mallios More than 1 year ago
that you are correct about.with all the so called clocker horses.you can tell how the board opens who the so called hot horse is.