Wagering on Canterbury Park’s opening weekend races increased by 31 percent compared to 2015, racetrack officials announced today. The increase is largely attributed to the Shakopee, Minn. racetrack reducing its takeout, the amount withheld from each wager, to the lowest level in the U.S.
Canterbury conducted 25 races Friday through Sunday, handling a total of $2,024,819 in bets, $478,057 more than the same opening weekend in 2015. The per-race average grew 26 percent to $80,992.
“We are pleased with the increase in wagering on our opening weekend,” Canterbury Park President Randy Sampson said “The takeout reduction, and the positive industry reaction it produced, introduced many new horse players to the Canterbury Park product this weekend. We expect more players nationally will discover the great value and improved quality Canterbury racing has to offer as the meet continues.”
Wagering on track was up 25 percent and wagers from sources outside of Canterbury increased by 34 percent.
In April, Canterbury officials announced a reduction in takeout to 15 percent on win, place, and show wagers and 18 percent on all multi-horse wagers. The announcement was met with widespread approval from horse players around the country.
“We anticipated our out-of-state handle would increase significantly and the results of opening weekend were right in line with our expectations,” Sampson said. “We are also very encouraged by the significant increases in on-track attendance and handle as perfect weather and the takeout reduction combined to make for a very successful opening weekend for on-track business.”
“The support of horsemen showed at the entry box as well, with more than 200 horses entered in the 25 races,” Sampson said. “With many horses yet to arrive and young horses still getting ready to race, I would expect our horses per race to increase as the meet progresses and we again will have average field size exceed the national average.”
Racing resumes Friday at 6:30 p.m. CDT and continues Saturday, Sunday, and Monday at 12:45 p.m.