New Pro-Horseplayer IRS Regulations Help Spur Record Breeders’ Cup Handle

Newly Enacted IRS Regulations Result in Drastically Reduced Reporting and Withholding for Horseplayers at Breeders’ Cup World Championships

Contact: Keith Chamblin, or (859) 621-1120


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Monday, November 6, 2017) – Despite some of the longest-priced winners in Breeders’ Cup history, only 35 winning tickets at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club triggered Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reporting or withholding via automatic W-2G filings across the two-day Breeders’ Cup World Championships. That represents a 97 percent reduction from the previous year, when 1,333 W-2G filings occurred on-track at the host site.

The U.S. Treasury Department and the IRS adopted modernized regulations regarding the withholding and reporting of pari-mutuel proceeds in September after lobbying by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) on behalf of the Thoroughbred industry. The Breeders’ Cup year-over-year results are among the first early indicators of how beneficial the new rules might be for horseplayers and the industry, according to data provided by the California Horse Racing Information Management System (CHRIMS).

Breeders’ Cup wagering on track was up 21.4 percent this year ($25,181,317 vs. $20,742,847 in 2016). The total common-pool handle for the two days was up 5.9% ($166,077,486 vs. $156,861,811), the highest since 2010 (when there were two additional Breeders’ Cup races).

“The drastic reduction in W-2Gs at one of the world’s biggest sporting events illustrates what a big win our effort resulted in for horseplayers and the sport,” said NTRA President and CEO Alex Waldrop. “While it is too early to measure the long term impacts of this change, we are confident that all segments of the industry will benefit from the proceeds being kept in circulation.”

Of the 53 W-2Gs at Del Mar during Friday and Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup, 20 were for reporting only, compared to 1,224 last year, a 98% reduction, and 15 included automatic withholdings for taxes, compared to 109 in 2016, an 86 percent drop. The withholdings amounted to $138,753, or 55% less than last year’s $313,446, with all but $4,324 tied to Saturday’s results that included some of the largest payoffs in Breeders’ Cup history.

Update: The new IRS protocol is now in effect at Virginia’s Off Track Betting Centers as of  Monday November 7th!

About the NTRA
The NTRA, based in Lexington, Ky., is a broad-based coalition of more than 100 horse racing interests and thousands of individual stakeholders consisting of horseplayers, racetrack operators, owners, breeders, trainers and affiliated horse racing associations, charged with increasing the popularity, welfare and integrity of Thoroughbred racing through consensus-based leadership, legislative advocacy, safety and integrity initiatives, fan engagement and corporate partner development. The NTRA owns and manages the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance;<>; the Eclipse Awards; the National Handicapping Championship; NTRA Advantage, a corporate partner sales and sponsorship program; and Horse PAC®, a federal political action committee. NTRA press releases appear on<>, Twitter (@ntra<file://>) and Facebook (<>).

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