Betting handle on horse racing in Virginia continued to trend up through the first four months of 2018 when compared to 2017. Total handle, which includes monies wagered at four in-state off Track Betting (OTB) Centers and four Advance Deposit Wagering (ADW) providers, was $36,105,169 through April this year versus $31,078,917 a year ago. In 2016, before any of the Virginia Equine Alliance’s (VEA) OTBs opened, that four month handle figure was $23,837,747.
Through April 30th, handle from the OTBs is $10,557,455 while ADW handle is $25,547,714. The four OTBs, listed in order by handle, are in Chesapeake ($3,991,941 at Buckets Bar & Grill), Henrico ($3,219,808 at Breakers Sports Grille), Richmond ($2,489,156 at Ponies & Pints) and Collinsville ($856,549 at The Windmill OTB Sports Grill). The latter site opened in early March and is located just outside of Martinsville at the Dutch Inn hotel. The four ADW providers in handle order are TVG ($11,970,634), TwinSpires ($8,938,981), XpressBet ($4,103,970) and NYRA Bets ($534,127).
In the month of April, ADW handle was $6,674,410 and OTB handle was $2,842,901. Twin Spires and NYRA Bets had their best month of 2018 in Virginia so far —the former handled $2,640,303 while the latter did $156,598. At the OTBs, $2,017,192 was bet on thoroughbred signals and $825,708 was wagered on harness. For the year, the breakdown of thoroughbred versus harness handle at the OTBs is 73.55% versus 26.45%.
The month of May of course featured the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. With Bob Baffert’s Justify going for the Triple Crown June 9th in the Belmont Stakes, OTBs and ADW providers could both see those upward trends continue.