Online betting handle on horse racing continues to flourish in Virginia as handle figures through the first 11 months of 2020 were announced this week. The overall handle through November was $126,669,820 compared with $81,215,279 in 2019, a 55.97% increase.
Top handle producer of the four Advance Deposit Wagering (ADW) companies licensed in Virginia was TVG, whose $66,274,640 handle represents a 70.94% gain over last year. In November alone, they accepted $5,470,846 in wagers and for the year, TVG is averaging $197,834 in bets per day, highest figure of the four ADWs.
Twinspires was next with $37,146,583, a 31.34% increase over last year’s $28,283,150. Xpressbet experienced a 54.26% boost, accepting $17,050,364 in wagers so far this year compared with $11,052,944 in 2019. NYRAbets, newest of the four online partners, showed a 99.42% increase with a handle of $6,198,231 versus $3,108,172 a year ago.
Over $2.57 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 $544,176 during the month that featured the two-day Breeders’ Cup Championships. Buckets was next with $511,576 and the Hampton Rosie’s was third with $408,056. The Windmill OTB handled $364,965.
December’s stakes calendar often sees a break in major events until just after Christmas but there still is a nice selection of pre-holiday graded stakes on tap in the coming days. Gulfstream has four of them on Saturday December 12 including the Grade 2 Fort Lauderdale and a trio of Grade 3’s — the Harlan’s Holiday, Rampart and Sugar Swirl. Fair Grounds also hosts seven stakes worth a combined $750,000 that day in their Louisiana Champions Day program. The following Saturday, December 19, west coast freshmen thoroughbreds compete in the Grade 2 Los Alamitos Futurity. Gulfstream hosts the Grade 3 Mr. Prospector Stakes that afternoon.
On December 26, Santa Anita serves up its traditional post-Christmas monster card with a trio of $300,000 Grade I events — the La Brea, Runhappy Malibu and American Oaks. The Grade 2 San Antonio and Grade 2 Mathis Brothers Mile complement the Grade I showcase. Laurel also has a powerhouse program filled with eight stakes including the $150,000 Allaire duPont (Gr. 3). Seven others at $100,000 will be contested including the Gin Talking, Native Dancer and Howard County.