Saturday sizzle keeps burning at Big M
January 21, 2021
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What a difference a year makes.
The first three Saturdays of 2020 were solid from a business perspective at the Meadowlands, as total wagering of $7.7 million averaged out to $2.569 million per card, resulting in an average per race of $183,523.
Turn the page to 2021, and despite the Covid-19 pandemic’s continued miserable grip on the globe, business at the industry’s handle leader has been booming.
Good as the numbers were during the first three Saturdays of a year ago, thus far this year has seen tremendous gains over the corresponding race cards.
Betting reached $4,562,477 on Jan. 2, which represented the third-highest single-card handle – beaten only by Meadowlands Pace Night and Hambletonian Day – over the last 13 months.
A total of $3,646,603 was put in play Jan. 9 while $3,458,896 was wagered on Jan. 16. Over the three-Saturday span, a total of $11,667,976 was pushed through the windows, an average per card of $3,889,325 for an average per race of $259,388.
“That’s an increase of almost $4 million when compared to our first three Saturdays of the year before,” said Big M chief operating officer and general manager Jason Settlemoir. “The average handle per race has increased over $65,000 and the pools are the largest we have seen on overnight racing in over a decade.”
Five of the Meadowlands’ most popular wagers have seen average pools over the three Saturdays that are deep to say the least. The 20-cent Pick-5 has led the way by averaging $205,437. Rounding out the top five were the 50-cent Pick-4 ($99,858), Exacta ($74,125), Win-Place-Show ($63,370) and Trifecta ($53,730) bets.
As usual, the track’s Exacta wager continues to take the most total action. Over the last 45 races conducted on Saturdays, total Exacta play has exceeded $3.3 million.
“The Meadowlands wagering menu offers horseplayers plenty of action all night long,” said Settlemoir. “What an encouraging start for New Jersey racing when you see the size of our pools increase this much going up against the NFL Playoffs on Saturday nights.
“We are certainly getting some new eyes on our product with our low take outs and low minimum wagers, especially now that we are offering free programs every night on our website. Low take outs equal greater payoffs, and that creates longer play. We try to create an exciting wagering format for the horseplayers and offering value for the customer is very important to us at The Meadowlands. It has been a major part of the equation to our early success in 2021.” (Meadowlands)