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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Meadowlands Stats for 2013

The following is a press release from the Meadowlands recapping this past meet.

Meadowlands 2013 Meet A Smashing Success

With Hambletonian Day in the books, The Meadowlands concluded its Championship Meet, which on the heels of a highly-successful Winter Meet, produced excellent results.

Despite racing 6 fewer dates, The 2013 Championship Meet produced a total handle of $79,382,139 compared to $65,900,104 for the 2012 Championship Meet. That marks a 20-percent handle increase. But, removing the 6 additional dates that were raced in 2012, the increase jumps to 35-percent.

The Winter Meet conducted 42 days of racing yielding a total handle of $119,739,613. That figure was an increase of 27-percent, despite one less day of racing. The handle for the 2012 Winter Meet was $94,472,432.

For the year, the $199,121,752 wagered on the 2013 Season at The Meadowlands was $38,749,216 more than what was wagered on the 2012 season, an increase of 24-percent, despite racing 7 fewer days. After those 7 race dates are made up in November and December, that increase will be upwards of 35-percent.

“The results for this 2013 season exceeded our wildest expectations,” said Jeff Gural, Chairman of New Meadowlands Racetrack. "We have a great team in place that isn’t afraid to try different things. When things don’t work, we try to find positive changes and apply them. Not everything we come up with will work, but we aren’t afraid to try. I want to thank all our horsemen for their commitment and filling our entry box all season. Last but not least, thank you to our customers who are at the very core of the success we have seen in 2013.”

Another exciting fact is the strength of the live handle in the Championship meet, which Jason Settlemoir, General Manager of New Meadowlands Racetrack attributed to a variety of factors. “We exceeded our Live Handle expectations from April 1st through Hambletonian Day,” said Settlemoir. “The winter was a fight, as the weather was nowhere near as cooperative as 2012. But once the weather turned, we saw instant results.” The results Settlemoir is referring to are Live Handle per card increases year over year from April through Hambletonian Day. “We tried many events that we were able to put strong marketing behind, including Jerseyfest and the Camel and Ostrich racing. The results showed that The Meadowlands Racetrack can provide entertainment to customers who wouldn’t normally come to the races, and that is very exciting.”

Director of Racing Operations Darin Zoccali was pleased with many of the results of changes made, but also sees further changes that will help in 2014. “The change to Classified Racing was not only a success, it turned out to be an excellent move,“ said Zoccali. “It provided much more competitive racing and fewer short-priced favorites. We are very grateful to the SBOA and our horsemen for being on board with this change. In addition, the Early Pick 4 was extremely well-received. Replacing the Pick 6 with this new wager resulted in over $3 Million in additional handle. Moving post time back clearly helped strengthen the early part of our card and our increased presence in California via simulcast and TVG was a big shot in the arm for us. We made a lot of positive changes to the racing schedule as well, but there were some things that in hind-sight we could have done differently. That is very exciting, knowing there are more changes to be made and we have room to grow. We are looking very forward to putting together a 2014 racing calendar that the horsemen and our customers will embrace.”

Live standardbred racing will return to The Meadowlands on Saturday November 23rd, for the grand opening of the New Meadowlands Racetrack and it’s state of the art brand new facility. That program will include the last chance for qualifying points to be earned for the TVG Free-For-All Pacing and Trotting Championship. The highlight of the fall will be Saturday, November 30th. That program will feature two $500,000 TVG Free For All Championship Finals, as well as the Fall Final Four, consisting of four championship races for two year old pacers and trotters, the Nadia Lobell for three year old filly pacers and the Moni Maker for three year old filly trotters. With the continued cooperation of the horsemen and having a modern new grandstand we believe the future looks brighter and brighter at The Meadowlands.


Anonymous said...

Not to rain on the parade, but if the cartel was wagering about $400K/night (a conservative estimate), that would account for nearly $30M of the $38M reported gain (leaving the "actual" gain at only $8M for the year). And if the cartel wagered in the neighborhood of $5-600,000/night (as many think they did), that would not only erase the entire gain, but would actually leave the Meadowlands with a LOSS in "real" play for the meet.

The problem here is two-fold; if the cartel registered a losing year (even with their enormous rebate), they may not come back next year, instantly devastating the reported handle - but if they were able to remain profitable and continue to play, that just means that the "regular" players will continue to get less back on their money (as a whole), and will gradually be driven away from playing. Not a promising scenario either way.

Pacingguy said...

I would like to know where you are getting your figures for this alleged cartel's wagering? These numbers are a lot different from what I had heard. Also, it seems to me you double counted the cartel. If we accepted your figures, did they bet $400K a night or $5-6K a night, they couldn't have bet both.

Anonymous said...

They agreed to bet at LEAST $300,000/night, and possibly more; all signs point to them betting what they guaranteed, and even more. Just the other day, the highly respected Ray Paulick remarked that he believes the group may have been responsible for nearly 20% of the handle - I'm sure he didn't pull that number out of the air and if correct, it would translate to the $40M in handle that I suggested in my post.

Not sure how you came up with the idea that I "double counted" the cartel's handle. If they bet $400,000/night, it would come out to nearly $30M for the meet; if they bet an average of $600,000/night, it would come out to OVER $40M, putting the Meadowlands at a handle DECLINE (year to year) without those wagers. Just two different scenarios - no "double counting" at all.

Anonymous said...

Early on the Meadowlands published figures that 29% of their increase was from the rebated wagers and 71% from other sources. It was also published later on in HRU that that wagering fell off as the meet went on. So it is likely that the large bulk of the increase came from people like me, you and the fence post.


Anonymous said...

It was widely reported that the cartel had to guarantee a minimum nightly play of $300,000 to receive their "preferred" status - even if we assume that they ONLY bet that amount each night, that would account for over $20M in handle. If the meet produced a gain of about $40M, simple math tells us that the cartel was responsible for 50% of it. And again, that assumes that they ONLY bet their required minimum (which remains open to speculation, since no "official" numbers have ever been released). Regardless, it makes the percentage figures released by the Meadowlands seem highly inaccurate, based on information that we know to be factual.