November wagering up more than 6% compared with 2016

Posted: Dec. 7, 2017

Total pari-mutuel handle on United States racing in November was up 6.39% from the same month in 2016, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators released by Equibase Dec. 7.

According to Equibase, November commingled handle, which includes the two-day Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Del Mar, was $890,823,840 compared with $837,308,933 for November 2016. The number of race days (322) was down 10 from last year.

Average wagering per race day of $2,766,534 was up 9.70% from $2,522,015 in November 2016. The average number of horses per race dropped slightly to 8.25 from 8.29.

Equibase earlier this year began releasing wagering information on a quarterly rather than weekly basis but said a recent development led to publication of November numbers.

“Equibase releases the Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators to the media on a quarterly basis,” the statement said. “However, because of the new IRS regulations on withholding from winnings that began in late September, we are sending the November advisory to the media.”

Lobbying by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association led the U.S. Department of Revenue and Internal Revenue Service to change withholding regulations on pari-mutuel winnings. The NTRA suggested the changes—calculation now is done on the total amount bet into a single pool—played a role in the uptick in November handle.

Breeders’ Cup earlier reported that wagering on the two-day event was $166,077,486, up 5.9% from $156,861,811 the previous year.

Year-to-date handle on U.S. races for the first 11 months of 2018 was $10,159,447,452, up 1.43% from $10,016,110,223 in 2017, according to Equibase.

November purses were up 0.41% to $101,798,604 from $101,378,895 for November 2016, while average purses per race day ($316,145) increased 3.53%. Year-to-date purses ($1,015,336,772) were down 0.73% from $1,022,786,990.