Friday, February 23, 2024

Economic Indicators: November Handle Nearly Level, Despite Breeders’ Cup Declines – Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

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The trend of lower pari-mutuel wagering volume continued in November, albeit not as severely as was seen in October, according to the latest economic indicator report released by the Thoroughbred industry’s official database, Equibase.

Equibase reported wagering on U.S. races was $$910,728,537, down .86 percent from November 2022 when $918,587,327 was bet. That represents a significant improvement from October, however, which saw wagering down 9.34 percent from the same month in 2022.

Playing a role in this month’s wagering total was the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which was hosted at Santa Anita Park on Nov. 3 and 4 and brought in $176,281,989. That handle represents a 6.7 percent decline from 2022 when an all-time record $189,060,373 was bet.

The number of race days declined by 10.24 percent in November, and total races were down 7.80 percent. Purse money paid was down by 0.65 percent. Average field size was up in November and year-to-date. For the first 11 months of 2023, the average field size was 7.80 runners, up 2.41 percent from 7.62 in 2022.

Based on third quarter data released in October, the year-end total wagering handle will be approximately $11.5 billion, assuming fourth quarter wagering is similar to 2022. From 1997 through 2009, wagering ranged between $12 billion and $15 billion annually – the highest coming in 2003 when $15.2 billion was bet. Since 2010, wagering exceeded $12 billion twice, in 2021 and 2022.

Purses paid out, on the other hand, hit an all-time record in 2022 when they topped $1.25 billion.

November 2023 vs. November 2022
Indicator November 2023 November 2022 % Change
Wagering on U.S. Races* $910,728,537 $918,587,327 -0.86%
U.S. Purses (Available) $123,145,549 $123,543,352 -0.32%
U.S. Purses (Paid) $116,423,913 $117,182,707 -0.65%
U.S. Race Days 263 293 -10.24%
U.S. Races 2,268 2,460 -7.80%
U.S. Starts 17,691 18,737 -5.58%
Average Field Size 7.80 7.62 +2.41%
Average Wagering Per Race Day $3,462,846 $3,135,110 +10.45%
Average Available Purses Per Race Day $468,234 $399,941 +17.08%
YTD 2023 vs. YTD 2022
Indicator YTD 2023 YTD 2022 % Change
Wagering on U.S. Races* $10,859,563,218 $11,358,563,877 -4.39%
U.S. Purses (Available) $1,220,973,088 $1,226,794,499 -0.47%
U.S. Purses (Paid) $1,168,817,773 $1,179,343,376 -0.89%
U.S. Race Days 3,648 3,848 -5.20%
U.S. Races 29,741 31,252 -4.83%
U.S. Starts 219,559 226,839 -3.21%
Average Field Size 7.38 7.26 +1.71%
Average Wagering Per Race Day $2,976,854 $2,951,810 +0.85%
Average Available Purses Per Race Day $334,697 $306,482 +9.21%

 * Includes worldwide commingled wagering on U.S. races.

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