Third Quarter U.S. Wagering Down From 2018 But Purses See Healthy Boost

by | 10.04.2019 | 1:23pm

The third quarter saw a nearly two percent drop in betting on horse races in the U.S., continuing a trend for 2019, according to numbers supplied by Equibase.

At the same time, total purses and average purses per race both climbed about five percent. That's also in line with the year-over-year trends so far.

September saw a significant drop off in betting (6.2 percent), while the number of race days, starts and races also declined. Average field size was up slightly. All of those categories were down for the third quarter. On the year, the number of race dates is about breaking even from last year, with races, starts and field sizes showing small declines.

Average wagering per race day is down about three percent from 2018. Figures below.

September 2019 vs. September 2018
Indicator September 2019 September 2018 % Change
Wagering on U.S. Races* $801,551,539 $854,530,359 -6.20%
U.S. Purses $118,180,799 $116,276,050 +1.64%
U.S. Race Days 412 424 -2.83%
U.S. Races 3,328 3,472 -4.15%
U.S. Starts 25,221 26,170 -3.63%
Average Field Size 7.58 7.54 +0.54%
Average Wagering Per Race Day $1,945,513 $2,015,402 -3.47%
Average Purses Per Race Day $286,847 $274,236 +4.60%
3rd QTR 2019 vs. 3rd QTR 2018
Indicator 3rd QTR 2019 3rd QTR 2018 % Change
Wagering on U.S. Races* $2,920,690,510 $2,977,017,173 -1.89%
U.S. Purses $349,816,903 $333,625,982 +4.85%
U.S. Race Days 1,411 1,415 -0.28%
U.S. Races 11,096 11,257 -1.43%
U.S. Starts 80,728 83,144 -2.91%
Average Field Size 7.28 7.39 -1.50%
Average Wagering Per Race Day $2,069,944 $2,103,899 -1.61%
Average Purses Per Race Day $247,921 $235,778 +5.15% 
YTD 2019 vs. YTD 2018
Indicator YTD 2019 YTD 2018 % Change
Wagering on U.S. Races* $8,596,390,581 $8,841,839,027 -2.78%
U.S. Purses $893,820,785 $849,196,602 +5.25%
U.S. Race Days 3,515 3,496 +0.54%
U.S. Races 28,553 28,653 -0.35%
U.S. Starts 210,967 215,890 -2.28%
Average Field Size 7.39 7.53 -1.94%
Average Wagering Per Race Day $2,445,630 $2,529,130 -3.30%
Average Purses Per Race Day $254,288 $242,905 +4.69%

* Includes worldwide commingled wagering on U.S. races.

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