Regional handle rose strongly during the weekend ending December 1, to its highest level in three weeks, according to our HandleTrak report.

Wagering at the region’s four operating tracks — Laurel Park, Charles Town, Parx Racing, and Penn National — rose to more than $5.6 million this weekend, versus about $4.4 million the prior weekend.  That represented a rise of more than 26 percent, and, even with one additional race card, per-card handle rose by about 1.5 percent, to more than $1.124 million.

The region’s biggest bright spot was Parx Racing, which saw handle more than double to over $2.1 million.  The biggest reason: the track ran both Saturday and Sunday this weekend after having run only one day on the prior weekend.  The region’s other gainer was Penn National, which, fresh off the success of its Thanksgiving eve card — in which business grew strongly versus last year — saw Saturday handle up about 25 percent versus the prior weekend.

On the other side of the ledger, Laurel and Charles Town both saw small declines in wagering.  Charles Town’s Saturday handle — aided by bridge jumpers who pounded Amherst Street down to 1-5 in the West Virginia Futurity and poured more than $200,000 into the race’s win-place-show pool, substantially more than in any other race’s mutuel pool — dropped by less than two percent.  Meanwhile, Laurel saw its Saturday handle drop by more than six percent, to $1.529 million.

Laurel’s Saturday card was the single busiest day of the weekend in the region, more than one-third higher than any other card handled.


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