Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators

January 6, 2023

Photo by Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire, Collage Maribeth Kalinich

NTRA Statement on 2022 Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators

NTRA and Equibase Press Releases

LEXINGTON, Ky.—The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) issued the following statement after the release of the Equibase Annual Year End 2022 Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators. 

“Thoroughbred racing purses and pari-mutuel handle continued to exhibit strength in 2022. Purses were up double-digits year-over year and reached an all-time high thanks in part to contributions from other gaming sources,” said NTRA President and CEO Tom Rooney. “Pari-mutuel handle was nearly equal to 2021 and the second highest since 2009. These business trends occurred during a year of unprecedented growth in legal, state regulated sports betting. The 2023 gaming landscape promises to be more competitive than ever for the sports wagering dollar. It also represents a huge opportunity to introduce pari-mutuel wagering and the sport of Thoroughbred racing to a vast new audience if we as an industry embrace the challenge.” 

Total wagering for the year ended slightly down at -0.87% while purses continued their upward trend, ending up significantly at +10.92%, when compared to 2021. Year to date 2022 vs. 2021 indicators are listed below:

YTD 2022 vs YTD 2021:

IndicatorYTD 2022YTD 2021% Change
Wagering on U.S. Races*$12,108,807,335$12,215,598,838-0.87%
U.S. Purses$1,309,837,841$1,180,842,882+10.92%
U.S. Race Days4,1044,072+0.79%
U.S. Races33,45333,565-0.33%
U.S. Starts244,133247,405-1.32%
Average Field Size7.307.37-0.99%
Average Wagering Per Race Day$2,950,489$2,999,901-1.65%
Average Purses Per Race Day$319,161$289,991+10.06%

For December, Fourth Quarter and Year End 2022

Equibase Data

December 2022 vs. December 2021
IndicatorDecember 2022December 2021% Change
Wagering on U.S. Races*$748,142,136$808,954,882-7.52%
U.S. Purses$83,068,942$74,780,035+11.08%
U.S. Race Days256251+1.99%
U.S. Races2,2002,151+2.28%
U.S. Starts17,28517,257+0.16%
Average Field Size7.868.02-2.07%
Average Wagering Per Race Day$2,922,430$3,222,928-9.32%
Average Purses Per Race Day$324,488$297,928+8.91%
4th QTR 2022 vs. 4th QTR 2021
Indicator4th QTR 20224th QTR 2021% Change
Wagering on U.S. Races*$2,569,665,204$2,720,404,107-5.54%
U.S. Purses$327,833,091$300,288,903+9.17%
U.S. Race Days881870+1.26%
U.S. Races7,4427,339+1.40%
U.S. Starts57,17456,789+0.68%
Average Field Size7.687.74-0.72%
Average Wagering Per Race Day$2,916,760$3,126,901-6.72%
Average Purses Per Race Day$372,115$345,160+7.81%
YTD 2022 vs. YTD 2021
IndicatorYTD 2022YTD 2021% Change
Wagering on U.S. Races*$12,108,807,335$12,215,598,838-0.87%
U.S. Purses$1,309,837,841$1,180,842,882+10.92%
U.S. Race Days4,1044,072+0.79%
U.S. Races33,45333,565-0.33%
U.S. Starts244,133247,405-1.32%
Average Field Size7.307.37-0.99%
Average Wagering Per Race Day$2,950,489$2,999,901-1.65%
Average Purses Per Race Day$319,161$289,991+10.06%

2020 Comparisons:

December 2022 vs. December 2020
IndicatorDecember 2022December 2020% Change
Wagering on U.S. Races*$748,142,136$751,783,126-0.48%
U.S. Purses$83,068,942$57,534,410+44.38%
U.S. Race Days256229+11.79%
U.S. Races2,2002,008+9.56%
U.S. Starts17,28516,884+2.38%
Average Field Size7.868.41-6.56%
Average Wagering Per Race Day$2,922,430$3,282,896-10.98%
Average Purses Per Race Day$324,488$251,242+29.15%
4th QTR 2022 vs. 4th QTR 2020
Indicator4th QTR 20224th QTR 2020% Change
Wagering on U.S. Races*$2,569,665,204$2,576,392,869-0.26%
U.S. Purses$327,833,091$240,534,957+36.29%
U.S. Race Days881793+11.10%
U.S. Races7,4426,805+9.36%
U.S. Starts57,17455,530+2.96%
Average Field Size7.688.16-5.85%
Average Wagering Per Race Day$2,916,760$3,248,919-10.22%
Average Purses Per Race Day$372,115$303,323+22.68%
YTD 2022 vs. YTD 2020
IndicatorYTD 2022YTD 2020% Change
Wagering on U.S. Races*$12,108,807,335$10,922,936,290+10.86%
U.S. Purses$1,309,837,841$869,771,206+50.60%
U.S. Race Days4,1043,302+24.29%
U.S. Races33,45327,700+20.77%
U.S. Starts244,133220,006+10.97%
Average Field Size7.307.94-8.12%
Average Wagering Per Race Day$2,950,489$3,307,976-10.81%
Average Purses Per Race Day$319,161$263,407+21.17%

2019 Comparisons:

December 2022 vs. December 2019
IndicatorDecember 2022December 2019% Change
Wagering on U.S. Races*$748,142,136$707,728,171+5.71%
U.S. Purses$83,068,942$66,315,581+25.26%
U.S. Race Days256252+1.59%
U.S. Races2,2002,169+1.43%
U.S. Starts17,28517,561-1.57%
Average Field Size7.868.10-2.96%
Average Wagering Per Race Day$2,922,430$2,808,445+4.06%
Average Purses Per Race Day$324,488$263,157+23.31%
4th QTR 2022 vs. 4th QTR 2019
Indicator4th QTR 20224th QTR 2019% Change
Wagering on U.S. Races*$2,569,665,204$2,439,642,344+5.33%
U.S. Purses$327,833,091$274,053,649+19.62%
U.S. Race Days881910-3.19%
U.S. Races7,4427,653-2.76%
U.S. Starts57,17461,576-7.15%
Average Field Size7.688.05-4.52%
Average Wagering Per Race Day$2,916,760$2,680,926+8.80%
Average Purses Per Race Day$372,115$301,158+23.56%
YTD 2022 vs. YTD 2019
IndicatorYTD 2022YTD 2019% Change
Wagering on U.S. Races*$12,108,807,335$11,033,824,363+9.74%
U.S. Purses$1,309,837,841$1,167,920,667+12.15%
U.S. Race Days4,1044,425-7.25%
U.S. Races33,45336,207-7.61%
U.S. Starts244,133272,553-10.43%
Average Field Size7.307.53-3.05%
Average Wagering Per Race Day$2,950,489$2,493,520+18.33%
Average Purses Per Race Day$319,161$263,937+20.92%

* Includes worldwide commingled wagering on U.S. races.

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