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Handle up in Paris

April 13, 2004

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Business figures for the recently concluded winter meeting at Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes have been released by general manager Jacques Chartier, and they reveal both good and bad conditions. The 2003/2004 meeting resulted in a three percent increase in the mutuel handle from the previous meeting. The 77-race meet had a handle of $1,629,110,000. The on track betting reached $48,671,000, which shows the importance of the French off-track betting.

To meet the problems of decreasing attendance, a new on track wager with huge payouts will soon be introduced. Attendance this year was down 17 percent, which worries the central trotting association because this is the second straight year for declining attendance. The track had an average attendance of 2,589.

Total purses for the meet amounted to $37,961,000 for an average per race of $57,120. Of the races carded, 11.7 percent were either European or International races. The foreigners, or as they were called "the barbares," took 29 percent of the purses.
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