Handle on U.S. horse races in 2017 rose slightly compared with the year prior as the number of races held at U.S. tracks continued to decline, according to year-end figures released Friday by Equibase.
Total handle for 2017 was $10.9 billion, up 1.6 percent from 2016. The 2017 figure was nearly identical to the figure in 2012, showing that handle on horse races in the U.S. has been essentially flat for five years, without adjusting for inflation. Still, this was the third year in a row that handle had not fallen, an encouraging sign for an industry that had experienced perilously sharp declines in business from 2008-12.
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