On line horse racing wagers placed by Virginia residents showed positive gains from all four partner Advance Deposit Wagering (ADW) companies as the new year began. Overall handle for January was up almost five percent from the same month a year ago — $6,053,361 in 2017 versus $5,771,148 in 2016.
Even more encouraging is the handle figures from the two new Off Track Betting (OTB) Centers that recently opened in Richmond. The OTB at Breakers Sports Grille, which made its debut November 2nd, handled $1,102,434 in January while Ponies & Pints, which just opened January 16th, handled $303,218. Breakers just completed its third straight month with a handle in excess of $1 million. Combined, the ADW and OTB handle for January was $7,459,014.
ADW partner TVG attracted the most wagering dollars from Virginia in 2016 and that trend continued in ’17 with a monthly tally of $2,832,844. Twin Spires was second with $2,061,057 and XPressBet was third with $1,105,573. NYRA Bets, which just completed its first month of business in the Commonwealth, was fourth with $53,886. In terms of percent gains, XPressBet experienced a 6.4% boost in handle from the prior January with Twin Spires close behind at 5.69%.
The $12 Million Pegasus World Cup, which was held at Gulfstream January 28th, helped boost interest in racing by providing a showcase day for fans. Heading into February, Kentucky Derby prep races begin to populate weekend race calendars all of which lead up to the May 6th Kentucky Derby.