12/20/2012 1:55PM

Woodbine daily average handle jumps 13 percent as U.S. betting increases


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – The Woodbine Entertainment Group has reported an all-sources wagering total of $453,865,564 for the 156-day Thoroughbred meeting which ended last Sunday, up 7.2 percent over the $423,209,365 wagered on the 165 dates offered in 2011.

The daily average handle from all sources this year was $2,909,394, a 13.4 percent hike from last year’s $2,564,905.

It is the fourth consecutive year of handle increases on the Thoroughbred season as wagering rose 7.5 percent in 2011 over 2010, 8.9 percent in 2010 over 2009, and 7 percent in 2009 over 2008. All-sources wagering on Woodbine’s Thoroughbred product is up more than 34 percent since 2008.

Wagering in WEG’s home market held relatively steady, slipping 1.6 percent per card. The gains primarily came from international exports, including another significant market share increase from the U.S. outlets.

“We’re seeing legitimate interest in our racing programs in Toronto, across the country and internationally,” said Nick Eaves, WEG’s president and chief executive officer, in a press release.

“We’re proud of the quality of our racing product and the positive momentum that we are experiencing with it. We are very thankful for the support and loyalty from our horse people and our increasing fan base, particularly in these challenging times.”

In February 2012, the Ontario government announced the abrupt cancellation of the slots-at-racetracks program, which has played an important role in the recent success of Woodbine’s racing product and the economic impacts it has generated.

“While we are pleased with the results of our 2012 Thoroughbred racing season, we are extremely concerned about the lack of certainty which exists for 2013,” said Eaves. “The continued success of Woodbine’s live racing program and the significant employment and economic impacts which come with it are dependent on a new partnership between the industry and the Province of Ontario.

“We remain optimistic that such a new arrangement can be achieved. We continue to work with the government toward this end and hope to be able to provide the necessary certainty soon for all stakeholders in the province.”

Contreras and Casse repeat

On the racetrack, Luis Contreras repeated as leading rider in races won with 195 and money-won with $9.3 million.

Patrick Husbands was next with 167 wins and $9.1 million and led in stakes wins with 21. Eurico Rosa da Silva rounded out the top three with 160 wins and $8.1 million. His 17 stakes wins were good for a second-place tie with Contreras.

Mark Casse topped the trainer standings for the sixth straight year with 94 wins, purses of $6.86 million, and a meet-leading 20 stakes.

Reade Baker was the runner-up with 63 wins and $3.6 million, and Bob Tiller ended third with 48 wins and $2.7 million.

John Oxley was the leading owner in money won with $2.5 million and second in races won with 26.

Danny Dion’s Bear Stable three-peated as leading owner in races won with 45 and was second in money won with just under $2 million.

Sam-Son Farm was third in money won with $1.76 million and Chiefswood Stable was third in races won with 24.

Consolidator Joe, Gentleman Jackson, and Hold That Echo each won five races to share top spot in that category.

gary More than 1 year ago
damn in hell those slot machines. the undoubted addiction they create and types they attract is a sour stain on the name of racing worldwide. seemingly racing in usa/canada would revert to yavapai downs quality without them and the so called leading bookmakers here in the uk would close 70% of their outlets without them.
Robin Dawson More than 1 year ago
All smoke and mirrors. Sure total handle has increased, per ubiquitous TVG coverage, but pure revenue from locals on local product is a fraction of what it used to be before slots. And the fact that WEG and Ontario horseman complain that the roof will fall in without continued subsidies from slots confirms that horse racing's current model is unsustainable. So there's no point getting excited about illusional figures....a few punters in Outter Mongolia.
martymar . More than 1 year ago
if you don't have anything positive to say stfu. You have been criticial of woodbine everytime
Robin Dawson More than 1 year ago
Because they deserve it. Over the course of the last 20-30 years Woodbine has slid downhill and now they are paying the price for poor leadership and lack of planning. Nick Eaves hasn't got a clue...but the real culprit is David Willmot who litterally took the money and ran, paying himself a huge salary (which he's reluctant to divulge to the OLG) and running racing in Canada into the ground. E.P. Taylor would roll over in his grave were he to know what's happened to the great racetrack he built, along with the reputation of Canadian bloodstock. That you defend those in charge of horse racing in Ontario shows just how little you know.
Robin Dawson More than 1 year ago
Martymar whoever you are, behind your pathetic mask. I'd just like you to know that the reason why the government of Ontario are having difficulty rationalizing continued subsidy of horse racing is because WEG refuses to reveal the salaries that have been paid over the past 15 years. And this lack of transparency and presumed entitlement is the root of the problem. So fo/