In virtually every respect, the wagering for the slot-like historical horse racing games at Kentucky racetracks produced banner results in July, according to statistics from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. Kentucky Downs hit $40 million for the first time, and Ellis Park approached $8 million — more than $700,000 better than its previous best month.
The only downside — Kentucky Downs saw a drop of about 6 percent in per day per machine handle as it the Franklin track had 625 machines in operation, 125 more than it did the prior July.
Statewide, the three parlors saw a record $69.07 million bet, a 70 percent increase over the prior July — thanks to the Lexington parlor that is still in its first year of operation. That beat the $67.5 million in May that was the previous best.
The $40.59 million at Kentucky Downs, the first track in Kentucky to implement the games in September 2011, was up 17.86 percent over the previous July and topped the previous best month there of $38.55 million in May.
Ellis’ $7.94 million was a 30.76 percent increase over the previous July and, likewise, topped its previous best total of $7.23 million in May.
The Lexington parlor that is a joint venture of the Keeneland Association and The Red Mile located at The Red Mile handled $20.54 million, it’s third best month since opening in September.
The June numbers were not as strong as July would be, but far eclipsed the previous June.
The $61.15 million statewide in June was up 111.5 percent, thanks the to the new Lexington parlor and the rebound at Kentucky Downs from a three-month stretch in 2015 where numbers declined as it transitioned to a new brand of the games.
Kentucky Downs’ $36.23 million in June was up 50.35 percent over the previous June. Ellis’ $6.75 million represented a 40.19 percent increase, and Lexington added $18.17 million.