Archives for May 15, 2020

Horse racing handle up 176% per day in April

Is Horse Racing Dead?

When the economic indicators on thoroughbred racing were released by Equibase this week, there was one number that leapt off the page. Average wagering per day was up 176% this month when compared to last April.

Yes, in a month where there were virtually no American sporting events, horse racing was front-and-center and the tracks that didn’t close, like Gulfstream and Oaklawn, did an average of $7.5 million in handle, up from $2.7 million this time last year.

Total wagering, which includes the numbers from all the tracks that are closed due to the pandemic, was down 24.4% year over year, but considering that race days were down 72% and some of April’s biggest races were canceled, it’s an incredible win for horse racing.

“It was similar to the 20s and 30s, when horse racing was the only game in town,” said New York Racing Association chief revenue officer Tony Allevato. NYRA canceled its horse races, but it has had a steady stream of business thanks to New Yorkers betting through …