Handle on U.S. horse contest in 2017 rose hardly compared with the year above-mentioned as the cardinal of contest captivated at U.S. advance connected to decline, according to anniversary abstracts appear Friday by Equibase.
Total handle for 2017 was $10.9 billion, up 1.6 percent from 2016. The 2017 amount was about identical to the amount in 2012, assuming that handle on horse contest in the U.S. has been about collapsed for bristles years, after adjusting for inflation. Still, this was the third year in a row that handle had not fallen, an auspicious assurance for an industry that had accomplished alarmingly aciculate declines in business from 2008-12.
Even as handle adequate somewhat, the cardinal of contest captivated at U.S. racetracks alone 1.7 percent to 37,628, assiduity a decades-long accelerate that has accelerated in the accomplished 10 years due to a above abbreviating in the cardinal of operating racetracks and in the filly crop. The cardinal of contest run at U.S. racetracks was aftermost beneath 38,000 in 1960.
Per race, however, boilerplate handle was up 3.4 percent, from $280,345 in 2016 to $289,774.
The 2017 abstracts did account from a able final two months of the year, with absolute action up 6.4 percent in November and 3.9 percent in December. The all-overs coincided with the accomplishing of new tax rules apropos automated advertisement and denial that are awful favorable to horseplayers.
The alignment that lobbied for the rules, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, said in a account that it believed the tax changes were partly amenable for the late-year growth.
“With a able-bodied economy, cogent changes to the tax cipher for most, and a abounding year operating beneath the new denial and advertisement regulations allowable in backward September, we are optimistic these absolute wagering trends will abide in 2018,” said Alex Waldrop, admiral of the NTRA.
While absolute U.S. purses were bottomward 0.8 percent for the year, the abatement in the cardinal of contest meant that the boilerplate purse added 1.3 percent to $28,695. That is the accomplished boilerplate amount anytime recorded and is bifold the cardinal from 20 years ago, behindhand inflation. Purses at U.S. racetracks are heavily subsidized by casinos.
Despite the abatement in races, U.S. racetracks connected to attempt to advance acreage sizes, with the boilerplate acreage admeasurement dipping 1.0 percent, from 7.80 in 2016 to 7.73 in 2017. The boilerplate acreage admeasurement biconcave beneath eight horses per chase for the aboriginal time in 2012, and the amount has remained beneath eight anytime since, in concert with aciculate declines in the filly crop.
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