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NYRA posted handle gains in 2012

The New York Racing Association (NYRA) posted across-the-board wagering gains in 2012, finishing the year with notable increases in all handle categories and far exceeding industry growth.

On-track wagering, including simulcasting, increased 7.9 percent to $674.9 million in 2012 from $625.3 million in 2011. On-track handle on NYRA races alone was up 8.3 percent to $381.1 million from $351.8 million the previous year. NYRA Rewards account wagering jumped 16.6 percent in 2012 to $259.6 million from $222.7 million.

All-sources handle, including simulcasting and export handle, was up 11.8 percent to $2.5 billion in 2012 compared to $2.2 billion in 2011. Total handle on NYRA races alone climbed 12.4 percent to $2.2 billion last year over $2.0 billion in 2011.

According to Equibase, handle on all races in the United States rose 1 percent to $10.9 billion in 2012 from $10.8 billion in 2011. The $232 million handle increase on NYRA's races was more than double the $103 million industry-wide handle increase reported by Equibase.

NYRA enjoyed significant gains on many of the circuit's biggest days in 2012. Belmont Stakes Day saw the sixth biggest crowd in Belmont Park history, with an estimated 85,811 fans registering a 53.8 percent increase from 2011, with an estimated attendance of 55,779. All-sources handle was the third-largest in Belmont Stakes history, up 19 percent to $98.6 million from $82.8 million.

This year's historic Travers dead heat at Saratoga produced a 12.1 percent handle increase on the day, with $37.8 million wagered compared with $33.8 million in 2011. On September 29 at Belmont Park, a star-studded card on Super Saturday contributed to total handle of $21.6 million, besting the $18.1 million wagered in 2011 for a 19.3 percent increase.

NYRA conducted 245 racing days in 2012 compared to 240 in 2011. Total 2012 estimated attendance on live racing days at Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga was 1,783,538, down 1.5 percent from the estimated 1,806,865 people who attended live races at NYRA in 2011.

Below are the totals for 2012 vs. 2011:

  2012 2011 % change
Racing Days 245 240 +2.1%
Estimated Attendance 1,783,538 1,809,865 -1.5%
On-track handle
(including simulcast races)
$674,894,316 $625,306,557 +7.9%
On-track handle
(NYRA races only)
$381,114,842 $351,835,640 +8.3%
Total Handle
(including simulcast races)
$2,496,498,959 $2,233,402,711 +11.8%
Total Handle
(NYRA races only)
$2,202,719,485 $1,959,931,791 +12.4%
NYRA Rewards $259,575,083 $222,667,859 +16.6%

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