Each of the three Advance Deposit Wagering (ADW) companies that operate in Virginia experienced double digit increases in betting handle for January and February when compared to figures of a year ago. Residents of the Commonwealth wagered a total of $9,792,753 for the two month period via TVG, Twin Spires and XPressBet.
TVG was the top handle producer in both January and February with respective tallies of $2,781,844 and $2,479,775. The two month total of $5,261,619 was an increase of 12.43% over 2015.
Twin Spires was second while handling a combined $3,893,985, a 10.10% boost over last year. XPressBet was third, and their $2,119,599 two month handle tally was a dramatic 35.15% increase over last year.
The respective increases are not unexpected though, given the fact that EZ Horseplay, the ADW division of Colonial Downs, was still in operation through early April of last year and was the top handle producer. EZ took in almost $5 million in betting action during 2015 January and February combined. Without them this year, total handle for the two month period is off 23.35%, though the trend of increased business at the remaining trio of ADW’s is encouraging, especially with many key Derby prep races and the Triple Crown still to come.
This weekend, Virginia-bred American Dubai faces a field of 13 other three year olds in a major Derby prep — the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (Gr. II) at Oaklawn. The under card features a pair of $350,000 stakes — -the Grade II Azeri and the Grade III Razorback. Santa Anita hosts the $500,000, Grade I Santa Margarita Stakes and Gulfstream cards the $200,000 Inside Information Stakes (Gr. II). All the stakes can be wagered via any of the three ADW providers noted above.