Despite negative trends throughout the racing industry, total wagering on racing at the Meadowlands in 2008 was up more than five percent.

All sources handle on the Meadowlands’ January – August harness meet was $354.8 million, up 7 percent from the $331.7 million wagered in 2007. For the recently wrapped 17-date Holiday Harness Meet, the total average daily handle was $2,645,212, a 10.4 percent increase over the 2007 daily average of $2,396,958.

The 2008 Thoroughbred meet also posted positive gains in total handle. The average daily total handle for the 40-date meet, which spanned six cards a week from Sept. – Nov. 15, was $1,573,513, a 7.3 percent increase over the $1,466,524 in 2007.

The first state-owned off-track wagering facility Favorites at Woodbridge posted strong numbers in its first full year of operation, handling $96.2 million. New Jersey Account Wagering (NJAW) handled $89 million for the year, a 16.2 percent increase over 2007. NJAW is a partnership between the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority and Pennwood Racing LLC.

The Meadowlands’ sister track, Monmouth Park, also posted a 3.1 percent increase in average daily handle for its 100-day thoroughbred meet, with $3,274,800 wagered vs. $3,177,212 the previous year. Monmouth’s premier event, the Haskell Invitational, drew record wagering of $4,257,409, pacing Monmouth to a single-day record total handle of $17,642,954, an all-time record for New Jersey pari-mutuels.