Sunday, January 23, 2011

2011: Cautious Optimism From Woodbine Hub

Upwards of $1B in wagering per year comes out of the Woodbine hub; through their teletheater network, telephone betting and Internet betting. Like most of North American racing handles, the trend has not been positive for several years. This season, however, it seems there is some hope. A Canadian HANA member got some information from Woodbine about this years numbers. In addition the most popular signals in the country of Canada are an interesting case study. We detail those below.

So far in 2011, the handle from Woodbine is up about 5%, but WEG's Vice President of Racing cautions that with cancellations and other suspect criteria it makes it difficult to predict the value of the measure.

Some racetracks are rebounding nicely, however.

As of last week Fair Grounds handle is up 25% this season with one more race card. This is a solid rebound and is confirmed nicely with US numbers. Fair Grounds seems to be doing something right this season.

Tampa is the other big winner. Handle is up a very solid 13% from our Canadian friends with no change in dates.

Gulfstream has stayed flat (up on a per day basis, however), but it is pretty popular historically and of special note: The pick six is not available to Canadian customers. The 50 cent pick 5 at the low 15% takeout is also a $1 minimum.

On the down side is Santa Anita, with a 23% drop (down on a per day basis as well). Like US customers, Santa Anita is getting a big thumbs down from our northern neighbors.

In order of popularity here are the top signals from the hub, in terms of wagering volume so far in 2011.

1) Gulfstream Park

2) Aqueduct

3) Santa Anita

4) Tampa Bay Downs

Despite the problems at Santa Anita, the overall 5% hike in handle is hopefully a good sign for racing in 2011. We'll keep watching.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good to see Canadian horse bettors speaking with their wallets. Tracks only walk all over people when they continue to reward failure.