10/08/2008 11:00PM

U.S. wagering drops 9.85% in 3rd quarter

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Parimutuel wagering on U.S. races fell almost 10 percent during the third quarter of this year, according to the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Equibase Co.

Betting on U.S. races in this country and Canada came to $3,489,171,872 during the third quarter of 2008, a drop of 9.85 percent over the same quarter last year, the NTRA and Equibase reported. Purses declined by 2.37 percent during the third quarter, with race days down by just more than 1 percent.

For the nine months ending Sept. 30, parimutuel handle was down 5.75 percent and purses down fractionally compared to the same period last year.

"Our industry's difficult year continued during the summer as a harsh economy and other factors continued to negatively impact business," Alex Waldrop, president and CEO of the NTRA, said in a statement.