Canterbury Park: Wagering Jumps On Track’s Opening Weekend

by | 05.24.2016 | 1:32pm
Battle of the Surfaces at Canterbury Park in Minnesota

Wagering on Canterbury Park's opening weekend races increased by 31 percent compared to 2015, racetrack officials announced today. The increase is largely attributed to the Shakopee, Minn. racetrack reducing its takeout, the amount withheld from each wager, to the lowest level in the U.S.

Canterbury conducted 25 races Friday through Sunday, handling a total of $2,024,819 in bets, $478,057 more than the same opening weekend in 2015. The per-race average grew 26 percent to $80,992.

“We are pleased with the increase in wagering on our opening weekend,” Canterbury Park President Randy Sampson said “The takeout reduction, and the positive industry reaction it produced, introduced many new horse players to the Canterbury Park product this weekend. We expect more players nationally will discover the great value and improved quality Canterbury racing has to offer as the meet continues.”

Wagering on track was up 25 percent and wagers from sources outside of Canterbury increased by 34 percent.

In April, Canterbury officials announced a reduction in takeout to 15 percent on win, place, and show wagers and 18 percent on all multi-horse wagers. The announcement was met with widespread approval from horse players around the country.

“We anticipated our out-of-state handle would increase significantly and the results of opening weekend were right in line with our expectations,” Sampson said. “We are also very encouraged by the significant increases in on-track attendance and handle as perfect weather and the takeout reduction combined to make for a very successful opening weekend for on-track business.”

“The support of horsemen showed at the entry box as well, with more than 200 horses entered in the 25 races,” Sampson said. “With many horses yet to arrive and young horses still getting ready to race, I would expect our horses per race to increase as the meet progresses and we again will have average field size exceed the national average.”

Racing resumes Friday at 6:30 p.m. CDT and continues Saturday, Sunday, and Monday at 12:45 p.m.

  • Steve

    I hope Canterbury keeps the momentum going. This takeout reduction experiment is very important to the industry, most takeout rates are ridiculously high. If this track succeeds, hopefully more tracks will follow and make the sport more successful. They also seem to have a great attitude toward the customer (players), which is great to see

    • Michael Cusortelli

      I hope Cby keeps it going, too. Horseplayers often complain about how tough it is to beat the relatively high takeout rates at most tracks. Let’s support a track that’s giving us a break.
      Besides, the quality of racing at Cby is pretty good, too.

  • Rivegauche610

    I can attest to the positive attitude. In the spirit of friendship and the desire to see them succeed on every avenue, I made some comments privately about their web site, as I used to be a tech writer years ago. They responded and told me that was most definitely on their radar. I want to see a bidding war for our business – vicious battles over takeout, but with a floor to it (say, 10%) so places like Canterbury and other second-tier tracks don’t go broke. Although I would like to see the CHRB stupefied over the result of lower takeout as they once again hike Santa Anita’s exacta vigorish and only the dumbest buffoons continue to play that larcenous state’s tracks. The genie is out of the bottle and I hope horseplayers become smart enough to know what is at stake.

    • Michael Cusortelli

      I hope so, too.

  • burner5

    Now that there is a break of three weeks between the great racing (including the under card at both tracks) I am going to make a point of betting Canterbury a track that until now I have never played at. I’m not a big bettor and my presence might not be felt but I want to support Canterbury in this gamble they are taking.

    • Michael Cusortelli

      Me too.

      • Andrew McMullen

        Me three. In all seriousness, I’m excited that a track finally changed the payout structure and took a chance. I truly hope they succeed and the other tracks follow suit. (As always, easier said than done….)

  • Nancy Taylor

    Glad to read the comment about increasing field size. Hope they can. I will get much more involved if that’s the case.

  • Flintstone

    It’s so rare to read good news about this sport.
    If we multiply this year’s handle by 16.5% and multiply last year’s handle by 20%, I estimate the track made an extra $25 000 in revenue. That’s not much but it still pays fifty employees $500 each for the weekend (a very good wage IMO). The goodwill and positive press it generates is worth far more than that and I hope people will throw a few wagers their way as a show of support and who knows you might win a few. The WPS prices last week were not bad, probably better than Belmont or Chuchill or Parx!
    Lastly, I expect even larger handle increases over the summer because most of this off-track betting was done by computer software/robo-bettors). An extra three or four percent margin is HUGE to these robots since they could already turn a profit with an ROI window of less than one percent.
    Good luck to all, even the robots.

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