Race Weekends Still About Average for Revenue at Dover Downs - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Race Weekends Still About Average for Revenue at Dover Downs


DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - NASCAR race weekend at Dover International Speedway has a big economic impact on the area. But what about the impact to the casino attached to the Speedway?

More than 80,000 people come out for race weekend in Dover, and those numbers might seem to mean big business for Dover Downs Casino.

But that's not the case.  Even with all those people right at the casino's doorstep, the casino says these weekends end up being basically average.

Robert Burcaw has been coming to both race weekends every year for 12 years. And for him a trip into the casino is a part of the normal routine.

"We hang out. We do some cooking every night," he said. "We go to the race. We go to the casino and do a little gambling, a little drinking."

But that may make Burcaw a bit of an outlier among people camped out at the track, according to Pete Bradley, Dover Downs VP for casino operations.

"We'll get some folks over here to enjoy the facilities. But the main focus for those people is the NASCAR event," Bradley said.

And the race keeps away some people who would normally come to the casino.

"Especially on Sunday some of our regular customers won't like to deal with the parking and the traffic."

Dover Downs does offer incentives, which Bradley says helps buffer things a bit. And he says the race does bring in some premium, high-rolling customers who also happen to be NASCAR fans.

"For example," said Bradley. "We have a good group from Foxwoods Casino each year that comes down and plays."

Combine all of that together, and Bradley says the casino ends up with an average weekend - about $1.7 million in revenue between Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Last year Delaware started allowing betting on NFL games. There are normally a lot of people at Dover Downs doing that on a Sunday. Bradley says the race will likely impact those numbers. Exactly how much is unclear.

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