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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


By Ken Weingartner — Total handle, purses, wagering per race and per betting interest in the United States all increased while the number of race days decreased slightly in 2019 compared to 2018.

Total wagering increased by $48,525,862 (3.53 percent) from $1,376,360,696 in 2018 to $1,424,886,558 in 2019.

On average, the amount bet per race in 2019 was $39,991, a 4.54 percent increase from $38,253 the year before, and the average wagered per betting interest increased from $4,850 to $5,008 in 2019, a 3.26 percent gain.

Total purses distributed in 2019 were $439,546,019, which was a $10,125,350 (2.36 percent) increase from the $429,420,669 in 2018.

Each of the above economic indicators showed increases despite a 1.33 percent decrease of 46 race days to 3,424 in 2019 compared to 3,470 in 2018.

Following are the comparative economic indicators for U.S. harness racing from 2019 and 2018.*

20192018% Change
Total Wagered$1,424,886,558$1,376,360,696+3.53%
Per Race avg.$39,991$38,253+4.54%
Per Betting Interest$5,008$4,850+3.26%
Race Days3,4243,470-1.33%

Please note: Includes U.S. and Canadian common and separate pool wagers on races contested in the U.S.

*Statistics courtesy of the United States Trotting Association

Ken Weingartner is an HRI Harness Racing Contributor

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