There's Big Day Racing & Really Big Day Racing

I noticed the Haskell card checked in yesterday with over $12M in handle, up around 7%. That's a pretty good number, and the race was excellent.

That $12M in handle, though, represents only a sliver of total handle for the Monmouth meet. It's that way with most big events in North America, outside the Derby I suppose. 

Down in Australia, I noticed a figure or two which I found eye opening.

The Cox Plate, Melbourne Cup and Caulfield Cup races attracted over $1B in total handle last year, representing 44% of total handle for the entire meet.

The overall spring meet is good for betting customers - a field size of 10.9 with good pool size, as well as plenty of ways to play, like fixed odds and exchanges. But to have near half of the volume on the three big events is formidable.

I've often believed that mature gambling markets are a leading indicator for North American racing. Big days have been big in these markets for a long time. The US and Canada are catching up, but maybe there's a lot more upside to big day handle than we realize.

Have a nice Monday everyone.


Anonymous said...

Is that Australian figure in US dollars?

Here’s some numbers for comparison:

An arbitrary US premier race day set of the Breeder's Cup, Kentucky Derby day, Preakness day and the 3-day Belmont Stakes Festival totaled $452 million in handle.

Doing the calculation, then total Australian handle was $2.27 billion.

2016 US handle was $10.7 billion. Impressive as a standalone number maybe, but we all know that sports betting/FSB was way more.

Now everyone please note that the US population is 324 million and Australia's is 24 million or so; the US is 13.5 times more populous than Oz. Or Oz's population is 7.4% of the US, your choice. California has 39.5 million alone, just in case the CHRB needs the figure.

So by "Australian Rules", US horse racing should be doing 2.27 x 13.5 = $30.6 billion. Even if the Oz figure is unconverted A$, that’s still $24.5 billion. California pro rata works out to 1.6 x 2.27 = $3.6 billion.

This has nothing to do with Oz vs. US takeout, does it? Or medication rules? It's a nice target for US racing to crawl to at a couple per cent per year while rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

-- Eudaemon

Pull the Pocket said...

Hi E,

Yes, that's Aussie dollars.

Those are some pretty interesting calculations. Thanks for sharing.



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