01/04/2017 2:57PM

Yonkers: Strong European wagering numbers in 2016

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Yonkers Raceway wrapped up its 2016 season with nearly $20 million (US Dollars) wagered from European sources throughout the French PMU network.

Just under $18 million Euros were wagered on 32 race cards from Yonkers. Those programs were 20 Tuesday afternoons, 11 Sunday afternoons and one Saturday featuring the $1 million Yonkers International Trot. Each simulcast is a partial card of five to seven races, just trotters. Wagering on pacing races is not allowed in France.

An exciting addition in 2016 was the first commingled pools on a regular basis between Yonkers and the PMU. Win and show wagers began to be commingled on May 24. In total, 12 Tuesdays, six Sundays and the Saturday card were commingled, resulting in $3.6 million Euros, or about $4 million (US), being added to the Yonkers North American win and show pools. The exchange rate fluctuates daily and in 2016 went from a high of $1.15 US Dollars per Euro to a low of $1.03 with an average of $1.10. Just two years ago that same exchange rate was approximately $1.36 US Dollars for each Euro.

“We’re very pleased with how the relationship between Yonkers and the PMU and Le Trot has grown,” said Bob Galterio, Vice President and General Manager of Yonkers Raceway.  “We were thrilled to quickly begin commingling some pools in 2016 and look forward to more cooperation and collaboration in 2017."

There were larger field sizes and all different classes of races simulcast to France, but the biggest factor in the wagering figures was the day of the week and the time of day the races were simulcast. With Paris normally six hours ahead of New York, the Sunday cards which started around 11:30 a.m. in New York arrived in Paris at 5:30 p.m. The Tuesday French races were normally at 3 p.m. at Yonkers which is 9 p.m. in France.

“Just like here in the U.S., Sundays are very strong racing days in France and Tuesdays aren’t as busy,” explained SOA of NY Executive Director Alex Dadoyan. “Also, at least half of the betting locations do not stay open at night so the Sundays were much stronger as expected.”

Nine of the 11 Sunday Yonkers cards handled more than $1 million dollars throughout the PMU Network.

For 2017, all of the regular simulcasts originating from Yonkers to France will be on Sundays. There will be 24 Sundays and one Saturday again for the $1 million Yonkers International Trot on October 14. Yonkers returns to racing Tuesdays at night.

“The additional money generated by the European wagering is in addition to the daily handle figures normally reported and they’ve been very encouraging,” said Joe Faraldo, SOA of NY President. “Yonkers Raceway and the SOA of NY continue to work very cooperatively to expand the wagering base and add to our win and show pools for the benefit of our bettors.”

The 2017 season at Yonkers Raceway begins Sunday January 8 with an 11:30 a.m. first post. The card features seven trotting races at a mile and a quarter distance being simulcast to France as well as purse levels boosted well above their normal levels to welcome everyone back for the New Year.

-edited release (SOA of NY)