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Balmoral Park

Balmoral Park (2/9/12)

Contact: Tom Kelley
(708) 672-1414

Someone Call the CFD; Balmoral Handle's on Fire

I got a note this morning from Balmoral Park regarding their year over year handle numbers. To say they're impressive would be an understatement:

Race Wed. 2/9/2011 Handle Wed. 2/8/2012 Handle
1 60,202 91,250
2 42,887 86,487
3 52,976 84,511
4 52,575 90,841
5 51,435 106,200
6 63,539 97,850
7 76,976 90,809
8 47,953 72,835
9 47,767 74,136
10 68,432 80,655
T 565,467 875,237
Avg 56,546 87,523

Total 2011 to 2012 plus $309 K, plus 54%
Average 2011 to 2012 plus $31 K

Yep, that's their total handle, up 54 percent.

What happened? It seems a number of things. The track promoted their Pick 4 takeout decrease in 2009/2010 to a willing audience, they worked hard to get noticed and up the bet, churn took over in some pools via that, and they joined the USTA Strategic Wagering Initiative which guaranteed some pools.

Most of all, in my opinion, it took time.

I remember back in late 2009 or early 2010 when Balmoral slashed their Pick 4 takeout rate. They were doing about $7000 Pick 4 pools at that time, and a month or two afterwards the pools were up to around $10,000 - by any measure it would seem to be successful at that early stage. But some thought not. They were multiplying the revenue gained from 25 percent of $7,000 and 15 percent of $10,000 and deeming it a failure.

Short term thinking at its finest.

Currently, a couple of years later, Balmoral is doing $20k to $25k a night in their Pick 4 pools. Overall handle, as you can see, has followed.

Churn, getting your name out there to willing players, promoting. It all takes time.

Balmoral stuck with it and they are now being rewarded. They, in my opinion, are a poster child for the patience that's needed to change our game for the better. One track at a time.

For more information visit or call (708) 672-1414.

About Balmoral Park: Located in Crete, IL just 12 miles south of 80/94; Balmoral Park has been one of the nation's premier horse racing facilities since 1926. Balmoral Park features live racing every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Admission and parking is always free.

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