Pari-Mutuel Handle In Virginia Surges Over The $100 Million Mark In 2017

Pari-mutuel handle on horse racing in the Commonwealth surged over the $100 million mark in 2017 thanks to a 5.6% increase in Advance Deposit Wagering and the addition of two new Off Track Betting (OTB) Centers.

Of the four ADW — or on line betting  — partners, TVG led the way with a handle of $37,543,768, an increase of 7.3% over 2016 figures. Twin Spires was next with $28,864,384 in handle, a 3.28% bump over the prior year. XPress Bet followed with $12,959,739, a 6.1% drop, while NYRA Bets, which just completed its first full year accepting wagers from Virginia horseplayers, handled $1,708,643. The four combined to handle $81,076,535, including over $5.5 million in December.

The Buckets OTB in Chesapeake has averaged over $32,000 in handle daily since it opened in mid-November.

The three OTBs combined to handle $20,803,619. Breakers Sports Grille in Richmond’s west end led the way with $10,931,061, good for a daily average handle of $30,279. Ponies & Pints, located downtown in the Shockoe Bottom entertainment district, took in $8,215,369 in wagers, a $23,675 average, and Buckets Bar & Grill accepted $1,352,264 in horse race bets. Of the three, only Breakers operated the entire year. Ponies & Pints opened in mid-January while Buckets had a mid-November bow. In its first 1 1/2 months of business, Buckets averaged $32,196 in handle.

Over $179,000 in handle was bet at the spring and fall Gold Cup races at Great Meadow in 2017.

Virginia Gold Cup races at Great Meadow and harness races at Shenandoah Downs both added to the $101,880,154 total handle figure. $179,930 was bet on a combination of steeplechase and flat races overt two days at the Gold Cup, while $124,993 was handled in ten days of harness action at the Shenandoah County Fairgrounds in Woodstock.