All-Sources Handle Down for Abbreviated Woodbine Meet

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WoodbineMichael Burns/WEG

All-sources handle was down more than $50 million at $462,041,545.76 compared to $516,189,419.44 in 2019 for Woodbine’s shortened 2020 Thoroughbred meet, which started late and concluded early due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The meet ran 96 days with the start being pushed back from Apr. 18 to June 6 and the end date moved up from Dec. 13 to Nov. 22. The abbreviated meet resulted in 35 less race days and 305 less races.

“Like many businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted our business and the entire horse racing industry in Ontario,” said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment. “However, I am very proud of how we responded and look forward to working with all of our stakeholders as we continue to manage the ongoing impacts caused by the pandemic.”

In Woodbine’s home market area, wagering on Woodbine Thoroughbred racing was $54,810,867.06, down 41% compared to last year. In 2019, Woodbine Racetrack contributed $28 million to the all-sources handle on Thoroughbred racing. This year, Woodbine Racetrack only contributed $124,000 to the overall handle due to being closed to the public for most of the year.

However, wagering on Woodbine Thoroughbred racing continued to be strong in foreign markets, generating $391,395,974.30 in all-sources handle, which is down less than 3%, despite running 27% fewer race cards. Handle per race was also strong at $509,417.36, up 19.6% year over year. Field size per race was 8.9, up from 8.2 the year prior.

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