Woodbine takes North America’s largest 2021 handle
Woodbine Entertainment has announced that the 2021 Standardbred racing season at its Woodbine Mohawk Park in Milton, Ont. produced an all-sources handle of over $324 million, the highest total taken by any Standardbred track in North America last year.
That new record mark was set despite a second consecutive year of business at the track being heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, only 157 cards of an originally scheduled 223 contested were held, a total that was 21 fewer than the 178 completed in 2020.
Despite a pair of government-enforced stoppages, Woodbine Mohawk Park recorded an average nightly handle of over $2 million for a second consecutive season, with a $40,749.86 increase from 2020. $235,451,948.26 (73 per cent) of the $324 million total handle was from foreign wagering, with home market wagering at $62,568,269.10.
The track’s principal competitor, New Jersey’s Meadowlands Racetrack, had a much higher average handle of over $3 million per card in 2021, but had lower total wagering on the year due to the fact it held races on 65 fewer dates.
“To see wagering remain steady and increase throughout these uncertain times has been a great reflection of the strength of the Woodbine brand and our Standardbred racing product,” said Jim Lawson, CEO of Woodbine Entertainment. “As a year-round racing product, we focus on consistency and see many encouraging signs to continue our success and growth in 2022.”
The 2022 Standardbred racing season at Woodbine Mohawk Park launched on January 1 and, if all goes to plan, will feature 223 race dates.