A week ago, mid-Atlantic racetracks offered more than 20 weekend stakes races at four different tracks.
This weekend, they offered none at all.
The result, predictably, was a 32 percent drop in overall wagering, from nearly $18 million to a bit over $12 million handled at Charles Town, Delaware, Laurel, Monmouth, Parx Racing, and Penn National, according to our HandleTrak report.
Delaware and Monmouth — both of which offered relatively ordinary cards on both weekends — were the region’s only tracks to enjoy gains this weekend. Delaware’s handle jumped over 27 percent on Saturday, albeit only to about $860,000. Monmouth’s weekend handle, with two days of racing, rose more than 13 percent to a bit over $6 million.
Meanwhile, the three tracks which offered major racing days last weekend — Charles Town, Laurel, and Parx — all saw significant declines. All three saw business decline by at least one-third. Parx saw the biggest drop. After doing boffo business last weekend — Pennsylvania Derby weekend — handle on its live product fell to less than $1.8 million combined for the two days, a drop of over 72 percent.
With tracks trending towards loading their stakes into fewer days — creating a handful of “big days” rather than a bunch of “mid-sized days” — the boom and bust weekend wagering trend is likely to continue.
Overall, the tracks offered a total of eight live cards this weekend, and they averaged about $1.5 million in handle. Last weekend, the region’s eight cards handled an average of more than $2.2 million.
REGIONAL HANDLE BY WEEKEND