Over $16 million in horse race wagering handle was generated in Virginia over the first two months of 2018. A trio of Off Track Betting (OTB) Centers and four partner account wagering companies combined to produce that figure.
Of the OTBs, the Chesapeake site at Buckets Bar & Grill in the Great Bridge neighborhood handled the most with $1,837,817. The Breakers OTB in Richmond’s west end handled $1,526,503 and the downtown Richmond OTB at Ponies & Pints took in $1,184,786 in bets. The OTB total itself of $4,549,817 exceeded 2017’s January/February handle tally of $2,952,127. A fourth OTB opened in Collinsville (just outside the City of Martinsville) on March 3rd.
TVG led the way in the account — or on line — betting category, handling $5,680,723 over the two months. TwinSpires was second with $4,016,413 and XpressBet followed with $2,092,735. NYRABets, which just started accepting wagers in Virginia a year ago, took in $244,747 in bets, but that was up substantially from last year’s $87,650 figure.
The overall handle for 2018 versus 2017 compares quite favorably for the first two months — $16,305,385 versus $14,919,150.
Moving into March and early April, every weekend is filled with key prep races for the May 5th Kentucky Derby. The $1 Million Florida Derby, Santa Anita Derby, Toyota Blue Grass Stakes and Arkansas Derby will all be held on Saturdays between March 31st and April 14th.
All four OTBs will host Kentucky Derby parties on May 5th. Ponies & Pints will have the largest and most lucrative Fancy Hat Contest in Richmond along with a large day-long party in their parking lot. Stay tuned to virginiahorseracing.com for Derby Day event details at all the OTBs, which will be updated in the coming days and weeks.