|Contact: Dan Leary
THE INAUGURAL FESTIVAL OF RACING AT ARLINGTON CONCLUDES WITH SIGNIFICANT INCREASES IN PURSES, STARTERS PER RACE AND WAGERING
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - The inaugural Summer Festival of Racing at Arlington International, run from July 12 to Labor Day, Sept. 4, significantly increased daily overnight purses, the number of horses per race and wagering on Illinois racing during the 41-day meet.
"The Summer Festival of Racing purse structure has had compelling results," said Arlington's Chief Executive Officer Scott Mordell. "The higher purse structure has attracted more horses and stronger fields which led to a 38% increase in total wagering on Arlington races compared to pre-Festival levels.
"In addition, the 58% increase in total wagering from outside Illinois on our races demonstrated Arlington's impact on the national racing scene, while at the same time, the Festival attracted more attention from Illinois bettors diverting significant wagering from simulcasts of out of state races to live racing at Arlington," added Mordell.
During the Festival of Racing, average daily overnight purses paid averaged over $278,000 compared to $217,000 per day during the first 43 days of the 2000 Arlington race meet.
The higher purses during the Summer Festival have attracted more horses to Arlington, which has led to increased wagering. Since July 12, the average number of starters per race has increased by more than ½ horse for an average of 8.7 runners per race.
Total wagering on Arlington races for the Festival averaged $3.5 million per day while total handle from outside Illinois on Arlington races was over $2.3 million per day.
Overall in-state wagering on Arlington races (over $1.1 million daily) was up nine percent during the Festival indicating that an increased amount of the wagering dollars remained in Illinois rather than being bet on out-of-state simulcasts.
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