Economic Indicators

Purses Up For April

Purses are up 15.17% for April 2022 at $103,144,902 compared to $89,560,470 in April 2021. Race days, races and starts have also increased with 14 more race days this April than last year at this time. Meanwhile, wagering is down 2.06% from in April 2021 $1,102,169,529 to $1,079,452,871 in April 2022. Average wagering per race day has also decreased 6.74% from $3,950,428 to $3,684,139. However, wagering is up .19% for the year.

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Wagering Down in March, Narrowly Up for First Quarter

Betting on U.S. Thoroughbred races dropped slightly in March compared to the month's total in 2021, while remaining narrowly ahead through 2022's first three months compared to its pace from the first quarter of 2021, according to Equibase's report of economic indicators released Tuesday. Overall, $942,589,741 was wagered in March, a 2.37% decline from $965,453,678 in March of 2021. The number of race days conducted was nearly identical, with 291 being run this March compared to 292 last year, making the average wagering per race day $3,239,140, down 2.03% from...

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U.S. Wagering, Purses Climb in February

Total wagering on U.S. races topped $911 million and purse money exceeded $75 million in the month of February, according to statistics released Friday by Equibase. Compared to the $840.5 million wagered on U.S. races in 2021, the current figure represented a healthy gain of 8.39% while purse money rose by a whopping 22.09%. The number of U.S. race days and number of races run each increased by double digits, though average field size and the average wagering per race day declined modestly. Average purses per race day were $295,009,...

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Wagering Slides, Prize Money Jumps in January

According to statistics released Feb. 4 by Equibase, wagering on North American racing during the first month of the new year totaled $942.6 million, a decrease of 1.82% from the corresponding figure from 2021, while owners raced for purse money of better than $82 million combined, a whopping 15.48% more than the $71.1 million from 12 months ago. Despite the wintry weather that annually claims its fair share of programs and a pause in racing in Maryland owing to track maintenance, the number of race days increased fractionally last month...

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Handle Up Again, Purses Way Up in November

Betting on U.S. Thoroughbred races was up again year over year in November 2021, while the industry saw a major spike in purses for the month, according to figures released by Equibase Monday. The numbers continue the positive economic trends the sport has seen this year as it slowly emerges from the toll taken by the pandemic. A total of $961,813,331 was wagered on U.S. races in November, up 7.4% from the November 2020 figure of $895,546,532. The November 2021 number is more flat when compared with November 2019, when...

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Wagering and Purses Up Despite Fewer Races in October 2021

Equibase has released the economic indicators for the month of October and year-to-date, as well as the same statistics for October of 2020 and January through October of 2020 for comparison. THOROUGHBRED RACING ECONOMIC INDICATORS FOR OCTOBER 2021 Indicator                           Oct. 2021            Oct. 2020            % Change Wagering/U.S. Races             $950,624,087     $929,063,211           +2.32% U.S. Purses                       $107,844,038      $90,904,717            +18.63% U.S. Race Days                328                        340                           -3.53% U.S. Races                        2,748                    2,852                        -3.65% U.S. Starts                         20,750                  22,410                       -7.41% Avg. Field Size                 7.55                       7.86                           -3.90% Avg. Wagering/Day       $2,898,244          $2,732,539               +6.06% Avg. Purses/Day            $328,793              $267,367                  +22.97%   YTD 2021...

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Wagering in 2021 Remains Robust

According to figures released Tuesday by Equibase, through the first three-quarters of 2021 wagering on U.S. horse racing is up 13.8% over 2020 totals. At the end of September, $9,498,141,414 had been wagered on the sport, a sizeable increase over the comparable figure of 2020 when $8,346,543,422 had been bet. With a strong final quarter, the amount bet on U.S. racing for the year could top $12 billion. That would be the most bet during a year since $11.4 billion was wagered in 2010. The record for most wagered in...

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Wagering Essentially Flat, Purses Up in July

Wagering essentially stayed the same in July compared to the same month from 2020 while still showing marked improvement over corresponding 2019 numbers, according to the latest economic indicators released by Equibase. Purses continued to rise over last year's pandemic-affected levels and eclipsed 2019 numbers for July. Overall, $1,101,617,446 was wagered on U.S. races in July 2021, compared to $1,098,021,143 in 2020, a slight uptick of 0.33%. In July of 2019, $942,243,633 was wagered, making last month's numbers a 16.91% increase over that figure. With the number of race days...

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Wagering, Purses Up Significantly in Q1 2021

According to statistics released Monday by Equibase, daily average wagering and average purses per race day each saw significant increases in the period from Jan. 31-Mar. 31, 2021 when compared to the same time frame in 2020. Total wagering in the three-month period was reported at $2.776 billion, an increase of 10.27% over last year, with daily average wagering at $3,611,092, which represented a 14.15% improvement from 12 months ago. Nearly $215 million in purses were disbursed from January through March, some 4.6% better than last year, with several tracks...

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Handle on U.S. Racing Off Less Than One Percent in 2020

Despite a racing calendar ravaged by the coronavirus, all-sources handle on U.S. racing in 2020 declined by just .98%. According to Equibase, total handle on the year was $10,925,226,444 or $108,597,919 less than what it was in 2019. Had the Triple Crown races not been rescheduled, it's possible that handle might have risen on the year. The total handle for the three race days combined dropped by $208 million, or more than what handle was off for the entire year. "The horse racing community is extremely resilient as borne out...

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Wagering Up, Purses Down Slightly During October That Included Preakness

As a service to the industry and in consideration of the economic changes due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Equibase is currently providing monthly reporting of its Economic Indicators Advisories. The Advisory is typically disseminated on a quarterly basis to provide key metrics used to measure racing's performance throughout the year. October 2020 vs. October 2019 Indicator October 2020 October 2019 % Change Wagering on U.S. Races* $929,063,211 $776,071,164 +19.71% U.S. Purses $90,845,317 $91,981,753 -1.24% U.S. Race Days 340 334 +1.80% U.S. Races 2,852 2,754 +3.56% U.S. Starts 22,410 22,176 +1.06%...

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