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WFD Shows Wagering Gains In 2012

Published: May 29, 2012 3:49 pm ET

Last Comment: May 30, 2012 1:47 pm ET | 2 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

The Raceway at The Western Fair District wrapped up its 2011/2012 racing season this past Friday night on a high with wagering so far this year showing significant gains.

Although all sources handle was down slightly on the Molson Pace program (down 7.5 per cent from 2011), the live handle was up 11 per cent to $140,000 for the card. Total handle for the night checked in at $340,000.

"The competition in the simulcast market on weekend nights is getting fiercer and fiercer," said WFD Racing Manager Ian Fleming. "So, considering that, we're relatively pleased with the numbers. We wanted to focus on growing the live wagering and we were able to accomplish that."

Since January 1 of this year, $3,722,947 more has been wagered on races at the WFD compared to the same period last year. The difference marks a 26 per cent increase over 2011 totals with the same number of programs and races conducted.

The live handle at the WFD also showed a 5.4 per cent bump over last year’s numbers.

“We are encouraged by the numbers considering all of the challenges faced these last few months,” Fleming said. “In the 2010/2011 season, we bet $300,000 or more four times, while this year we topped that total 19 times, so we really seemed to gain momentum in the New Year.

“We look forward to carrying that forward and bringing some further enhancements on the wagering side when we return with live racing this fall.”


May 30, 2012 - 1:47 pmHi Robert, The reason we

Hi Robert,

The reason we maintain racing on Fridays (and Saturdays in November/December) is that we still believe in having days where we can really focus on the live audience. Although our overall handles on those nights is less, our live wager is much higher on those nights. And, during the holiday season especially, we are very busy with Christmas parties, group functions etc. and there's a real buzz on site those days.

There's no question that on Molson Pace night, we sacrifice some remote (off-site) handle, but to see the place packed and a live wager of $140,000 is what makes that worthwhile. Having said that, there were 37 tracks racing between 4 and 8 p.m. this year, so to put up a number of $340,000 overall wasn't a total disappointment for us.

Thanks for the feedback!

Greg Blanchard

May 29, 2012 - 10:42 pmCongratulations. Mon/Tues/Wen


Mon/Tues/Wend/ day racing has been very good to Western.My question is,why do they run on a Friday and sometimes Saturday and don't even get a handle of 80 thou on these nights?

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