In-state betting total sets record

January 01, 1995|By Ross Peddicord | Ross Peddicord,Sun Staff Writer

When final betting totals were released yesterday, a record $461 million was wagered in-state during 1994 at eight thoroughbred outlets, approximately $26 million more than the previous high of $435 million in 1990.

About 51 percent of the $461 million figure was wagered on live Maryland races, but the other 49 percent was bet on simulcast races from out-of-state tracks. However, the Maryland tracks also earned an additional $129 million by selling their live races to out-of-state outlets.

"We spent about $8 million in buying out-of-state signals and earned about $4 million from selling our product," said Laurel/Pimlico president Joe De Francis. "Although we're thrilled with the record amount bet in-state, we still have a $4 million deficit in simulcast fees. That's unacceptable over the long run and means we still have to work hard to export our product, although we showed about a 40 percent increase in that area in 1994."

Figures won't be released until an audit is published in March by the Maryland Racing Commission, but Laurel/Pimlico is projected to earn a profit of between $1 million and $2 million in 1994 after a loss of $7.2 million in 1993.

Mark Johnston was the year's top rider, winning 262 races.

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