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Apr 29, 2011

Aqueduct shows on-track increases in recent meeting


Ozone Park, NY (Sports Network) - The recently concluded winter/spring race meeting at Aqueduct Racetrack showed significant increases in major areas. The increases are a reversal from previous meetings.

The two major increases came in attendance and on-track handle. Attendance rose nearly 48 percent and total on-track handle (including money bet on simulcast races) was up more than 74 percent from January 1 to April 23.

Compared to last year, attendance increased to 322,165 from 218,078 while the total on-track handle (including money bet on simulcast races) rose from $83 million to $144 million.

"We are extremely pleased with the numbers from the recently concluded Aqueduct meeting," said NYRA President and CEO Charles Hayward. "I am very encouraged by the hard work that everyone at NYRA has done since the shutdown of New York City Off-Track Betting to encourage customers to attend our live races and wager on our product. It has been a total team effort and has demonstrated NYRA's ability to react quickly and decisively to what could have been a very negative occurrence for the racing industry as a whole. I also want to thank the New York State Racing and Wagering Board and Chairman John Sabini for helping us gain expedient approvals for a number of customer service initiatives."

However, because of the closing of New York City Off-Track Betting total handle, including simulcast races, decreased better than four percent from $527,025,292 to $504,861,997.

"Despite our total handle being down marginally," Hayward noted, "the fact that we make approximately three times the revenue for an on-track wager as compared to wagers made at a NYCOTB parlor allows us to offset much of that lost handle revenue." .

A positive came on Saturday, April 9 when the track held the $1 million Wood Memorial. Attendance and on-track handle had increases of 42 percent and 48 percent, respectively.

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