Midlantic handle: October a mixed bag as region’s average up
by Frank Vespe
Tracks in the mid-Atlantic region handled just shy of $100 million in October, according to Equibase figures.
That left them about $9 million behind 2016 for the month, though, because the tracks ran 11 fewer days than last October, the average was up, to more than $1.3 million.
The report for October included Charles Town Races, Delaware Park, Laurel Park, Parx Racing, Penn National, and The Meadowlands. During the month, The Meadowlands raced just four days — four consecutive Saturdays — and Delaware raced 12 before concluding its season October 12. The data does not include the October 2 card at Parx Racing, when racing was abandoned mid-card.
The same group of tracks raced in ’16. For a variety of reasons, however, those tracks raced a total of 85 days last year in October versus 74 this year.
During the month, half of the region’s tracks saw their average increase versus the same month last year, while half saw declines. For the region as a whole, the average daily handle per track was up 5 percent to more than $1.3 million.
The Meadowlands, which saw its October calendar trimmed from 10 dates last year to just four this year, enjoyed the biggest gains in terms of daily average. The Big M averaged more than $1.6 million in handle per card this past month, a nearly 50 percent jump from last year’s average of $1.074 million.
Likewise, Penn National enjoyed a an increase of about one-third in its daily average handle. On five of 12 days during the month, the track topped $1 million in all-sources handle and for the month averaged in excess of $900,000.
Penn National’s sister track, Charles Town, also saw its daily average grow, albeit on fewer days. The West Virginia track took in almost $1.2 million per card, up 23 percent versus a year ago.
The region’s leader in total handle and daily average wagering during the month was Laurel Park. The Maryland track accounted for nearly $35 million in wagering in October. That was up 10 percent from last year though, because it was on more days, the daily average fell a bit less than four percent.
At the other end of the spectrum, Parx Racing saw its daily average drop by over 22 percent. Total handle at the Bensalem track fell from more than $30.5 million last October to $22.3 million this year on one fewer day of racing.[table id=216 /]