Is the Saratoga Race Course the Answer to the NYRA’s Woes?

Saratoga Race CourseThis year’s Saratoga Race Course meet will be the longest one since 1882. During the first four days of the meet, attendance stood an average of over 18,000 racing fans per day, and the four day betting handle was well over $10 million. And that was only the on-site results. If you combine other sources in the pari-mutuel system, such as Off Track Betting locations, the handle was over $51 million combined for the four days.

The forty days of racing this year is more of a necessity than it is a favor to racing fans, however. With the New York Racing Association facing a lack of leadership, the politicians currently in control of the track had debated shutting the meet down this year. Closing down the track was not an option once the amount of revenue that the track sees on a daily basis was considered. Saratoga is one of the most highly attended race courses in the U.S. Closing it would not solve any problems, but it would eliminate a lot of badly needed tax dollars for the state.