New CEO Takes over at Horse Racing Alberta July 1, 2018
Sal says that if the horse racing industry in Alberta wants to know what the legacy of Shirley McLellan and Rick LeLacheur at Horse Racing Alberta will be the following figures speak volumes.
From the 2008 Horse Racing Alberta Annual Report page 14
Pari-mutuel handle is a benchmark of how the horse racing industry is doing. The amount of money wagered provides insight to the quality of the horses racing, the number of fans attending races and the value of the simulcast signal in other markets. Alberta’s handle has increased 25% since 2001, while the national handle decreased 10% during the same period. In the United States, wagering dropped 7.2% – one of the lowest wagering amounts seen in nearly ten years.
Alberta continued to steadily increase handle, with a modest growth of 1.19% in 2008 for total handle revenue of $182.4 million.
From the 2017 Horse Racing Alberta Annual Report page 4
2017 Handle by Breed
Thoroughbred $ 82,058,000
Standardbred $ 28,435,684
Those figures reflect a very substantial drop in handle, a benchmark of how the horse racing industry is doing. To exacerbate the brutal drop in handle remember that the population of Alberta rose from 3,443,145 in 2008 to 4,334,025 in 2018. That’s a 39% drop in handle during a period when the population in Alberta increased by 38%.