08/12/2011 1:06PM

Woodbine handle up strongly in meet's first half

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ETOBICOKE,Ontario – The Woodbine Entertainment Group reported strong gains in handle on live Thoroughbred racing heading into Friday’s card, the beginning of the second half of the meeting.

All-sources betting on the live Woodbine races for the first 83 days of the meeting scheduled for 166 days (after one cancellation) stood at $212,747,660 for a daily average of $2,563,225, an increase of 12.5 percent.

Last year’s total for the first 83 days of a 167-day meeting was $189,035,785 for a daily average of 2,277,540.

“It’s been a good meet so far,” said Sean Pinsonneault, Woodbine Entertainment Group’s chief operating officer, in a press release.

“We continue to see strong growth in our product in the U.S., while our home market numbers are steady over the first half, year on year.”

Increases in the United States on Woodbine racing have been rising this year, on top of the growth seen last season.

Woodbine has a number of new outlets this year, which have contributed to the improved results, but the broad-based increases suggest the positive momentum is continuing.

“The $100,000 pick four guarantees offered on Wednesdays and Sundays have really resonated with players,” said Pinsonneault.

“With the strong response on these pools, we have been able to increase the guarantees much earlier than we anticipated and have also helped to generate more wagering in the other pools.”