Virginia Handle Figures on the Rise

(Warrenton, VA—-8/11/15) —- Almost $6 million was wagered on horse races in July via the three advance deposit wagering (ADW) companies authorized to take wagers in Virginia — TVG, Twin Spires, and Xpress Bet. The July handle figures represent the third best month of 2015 for each of the three.

TVG led the way with a robust $2,961,203 in wagers, which out handled June’s total by over $40,000. June of course featured the Belmont Stakes, when American Pharoah became thoroughbred racing’s first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. The best month for TVG, along with the other two, was in May when both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness were held. The ADW leader handled $3,901,624 million in bets in May and $3,025,252 in April, when many of the key Derby prep stakes races were contested.

Twin Spires was runner-up in wagering, handling $2,053,421 for July, which followed respective solid May and June totals of $3,684,857 and $2,501,594. Xpress Bet was a distant third, accepting $961,483 in July wagers. Their May and June betting numbers were $1,570,445 and $1,119,127.

For the year, total handle figures by ADW outlet mimic July’s stats as far as top handle producers are concerned. Combined, handle is down less than 9% when compared to the same time frame in 2014 when EZ Horseplay, a division of Colonial Downs, was the leader in the ADW mix. That entity handled over $20,000,000 dollars in the first seven months last year, highest of the four by far.

Since EZ Horseplay went out of business in early April of this year, the remaining ADW’s have seen an upswing in business as a result. TVG is up almost 26% so far with a $19,796,612 total, $4 million ahead of 2014. Twin Spires is up almost 19% at $15,815,304 while Xpress Bet is up 2% at $7,089,986.

“When you consider the challenges the Virginia horse racing industry has encountered this year, the ADW figures are very respectable,” VAHBPA Executive Director, Frank Petremalo said. “We hope this recent momentum continues into August since the Saratoga and Del Mar meets are in full swing. We may also see two appearances by American Pharoah in the same month if his owner decides to race him in the Travers Stakes on August 29th.”