Total US turnover down by more than $1bn
USA: Further evidence that racing and betting worldwide are being hit by thecredit crunch has arrived from the States with news that betting turnover in 2008 suffered a dramatic year-on-year fall of more than $1 billion.
Wagering in the US and Canada combined - including worldwide co-mingling - for the year ending on December 31 dropped by 7.16 per cent compared to the previous 12 months.
The 2008 figures represented a ten-year low as total turnover dipped below $14bn for the first time since 1999, with a figure of $13.67bn. The 2003 figure of 15.2bn is the highest on record.
Although the fall is partially down to the loss of 73 racing dates in 2008 - 6,095 cards compared to 6,168 in 2007 - there can be no doubt that the economy is to some degree the culprit.
Purses for the 2008 season, which totalled $1.16bn, also dropped by 1.33 per cent compared to the 2007 figure of $1.18bn.
December 2008 was hit by a major decrease in wagering, $820.4m in 2008 compared to $1.029bn in 2007, representing a drop of 20.3 percent.
Purses were down significantly on the month, from nearly $69.5m in 2007 to just over $60.1m last year, a drop of 12.43 per cent.