08/04/2013 1:42PM

Wagering on U.S. races flat in July

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Wagering on U.S. races in July was level with the same month last year despite a nearly 3 percent drop in race days, according to figures released Sunday by Equibase.

Total wagering during July was $926.9 million, up 0.2 percent from $925 million in July 2012, according to the figures. The number of race days declined 2.9 percent, from 557 last July to 541 this July, leading to average wagering per race day of $1.71 million this July, compared with average wagering per race day of $1.66 million last July.

Handle on U.S. races has been in a steady decline for nearly a decade, but the figures have leveled off somewhat over the past 18 months. At the same time, the number of race days has begun to dip as racetracks attempt to cope with significant declines in the foal crop over the past five years.

Total purse distribution during July was $109.8 million, up 1.9 percent from $107.8 million in July 2012, according to the figures. Purses at U.S. racetracks are heavily subsidized by casino revenue.

For the year, handle is off 0.7 percent, according to Equibase, at $6.54 billion, compared with $6.58 billion through July 2012. The number of race days has declined 3.4 percent, while purses have declined 1.1 percent.

Mike Kaplan More than 1 year ago
I'm also a fan for more than 50 years. I happen to find that the sport is more appealing than ever. Those numbers support improvement. Let the free enterprise system work. You can get information from anywhere. You can bet at tracks all over the world from your kitchen table. I'm here in South Florida and can now go to either Gulfstream or Calder on the weekend. New ideas will sustain the game. Surfed my online account on Saturday to watch the stakes races. Amazing!
mikey More than 1 year ago
Yes you can be at home and bet coast to coast to overseas.Please tell me where the info is of a trainer giving the horse a race or going for real.How about hot first time starters that are 20-1 on the ML and open up at 2-1 and win for fun Where do you find this info except on the back stretch.
Mike Kaplan More than 1 year ago
You do have the choice of staying out of races that seem fishy or take the 2-1. How about the horse that gets bumped, left, or shut off. It is gambling. I understand. The difference between a winning and losing day for me is often one photo going my way. Beats any game that I'm in these days.
mikey More than 1 year ago
Played this game for 50 years and care less about it than ever before.Bad horses, trainers and more monkey business than ever.Watch TVG OR HRTV and hear a trainer say he was not cranked up the last time he ran.How do we know that.Trainers running 2 or 3 horses in the same race and not coupled.Just gave him a race.To much junk in the trunk.Game is tired and needs a major clean up.
starlitdazzle More than 1 year ago
Where can one find these Equibase reports?
Marvin Friedman More than 1 year ago
surprise surprise.....5 horse fields ,2 of them can run the other 3 cant walk...a day at the races is more like a day visiting your grandparents at the home .Wake up .... get someone to run the show nationally standardize medication rules,its very sad to see whats become of whats left of racing,
Wonderagain More than 1 year ago
Agreed. Sad to be watching the sport's/racing content's slow but steady decline. Especially considering the technology in place today to allow fan/player to follow the races so conveniently. I'm watching NYRA replays on my smartphone at the pool! After some interesting races 1st week, Spa's turf alw fields are 7-8 horses at best unless it's a race for statebreds. Field sizes in stakes races have been abysmal. Have nothing against statebred turf races w/full fields, but when it's the only consistent betting races you have to offer it's hard to keep interested whether your a horseplayer or casual fan. Change in the system is way past due.