NYRA Handle in 2021 was Highest Since 2008

David Grening

Courtesy Daily Racing Form

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – All-sources handle in 2021 on races run at the New York Racing Association’s three tracks – Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga – was $2,373,772,916, a 12.6 percent increase over 2019 and the highest one-year handle figure since 2008, the company reported Thursday.

The NYRA conducted 1,887 races over 201 race cards in 2021, making average daily handle $11,809,816, a 21.5 percent increase over the 2019 average of $9,714,868 when there were 2,000 races run over 217 dates.

The 2021 all-sources figure represents a 30.9 percent increase over 2020, when $1,813,935,091 was handled on 1,507 races run over 157 dates. Due to COVID-19, NYRA canceled 43 scheduled dates in 2020 and reduced by a few days its Belmont and Aqueduct fall meets. Average daily handle in 2020 was $11,553,217.

Ontrack handle – which includes money wagered on NYRA’s races in New York through NYRA’s account-wagering platform NYRABets – in 2021 was $266,978,634, compared with $310,053,754 in 2019 and $152,114,600 in 2020. In 2020, there were also a limited number of owners allowed on track for the last six months of the year. In 2021, fans weren’t allowed back on track until the early part of the Belmont spring meet. In 2020, fans were not allowed on track for six race days in March and the last seven months of the year.

Betting interests at NYRA tracks in 2021 averaged 7.68, a 1.8 percent decrease from 2020 and a 3.9 percent increase over 2019.

Of the 1,887 races run at NYRA in 2021, 631 were run on the turf. There were 104 races transferred from turf to dirt. In 2019, NYRA conducted 649 races on turf, with 125 moved to the dirt.

At Saratoga in 2021, NYRA set a record for all-sources handle with $815,508,063.

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