Online betting handle on horse racing continues to flourish in Virginia as handle figures through the first ten months of 2020 were announced this week. The overall handle through October was $116,030,184 compared with $74,076,781 in 2020, good for an astonishing 56.64% increase.
Top handle producer of the four Advance Deposit Wagering (ADW) companies licensed in Virginia was TVG, whose $60,803,794 handle represents a 71.28% gain over last year. In October alone, they accepted $5,796,648 in bets and for the year, TVG is averaging $199,356 in bets per day, highest figure of the four ADWs.
Twinspires was next with $34,006,260, a 31.76% increase over last year’s $25,808,817. Xpressbet experienced a 57.36% boost while accepting $15,612,964 in wagers so far this year compared with $9,921,538 in 2019. NYRAbets, newest of the four online partners, showed a 96.90% increase with a handle of $5,607,165 versus $2,847,688 a year ago.
Over $2.7 million was wagered on horse racing action at Virginia’s seven OTBs — the four at Rosie’s Gaming Centers in New Kent, Vinton, Richmond and Hampton, and the three VA-Horseplay sites in Henrico (Breakers), Chesapeake (Buckets) and Collinsville (The Windmill). Breakers was the top handle producing venue with $617,347 during the month that featured the Preakness Stakes. Buckets was next with $567,883 and the Hampton Rosie’s was third with $411,665.
November’s handle numbers, still to come, will include the two-day Breeders’ Cup Championships that were held earlier in the month. A number of higher profile races are on tap in the coming weeks including a trio of Grade I stakes on Thanksgiving weekend — the $500,000 Clark Handicap at Churchill November 27, and the $300,000 Hollywood Derby and $300,000 Matriarch Stakes, both at Del Mar November 28 and 29 respectively. On December 5, Aqueduct hosts the Grade I Cigar Mile along with three other graded stakes, the same day Gulfstream hosts the Claiming Crown series.
Key upcoming harness racing events include the $100,000 Potomac Pace at nearby Rosecroft Raceway on Sunday November 15 followed the next week by a big night at The Meadowlands. On November 21, the Big M will give away nearly $3 million in purses between eight championship races — the Fall Final Four and another four Free-For-All events. Dover Downs finishes out the month with the $300,000 Progress Pace (3-Year-Old Open) on November 25.