Columbus, OH — Total wagering on harness racing in the U.S. is up 11.35 percent, almost $130 million, through Sept. 30, 2021, compared to the same nine months in 2019. The comparison to 2019 is due to the COVID-19 pandemic that canceled all racing in April and limited the number of races to 154 in May of last year.
Through the first nine months of this year, total handle was $1,271,572,942 compared to $1,141,956,334 in 2019, an increase of $129,616,608.
The large increase in wagering was despite a 5.89 percent decrease in the number of races. In 2021, there were 25,744 races, 1,612 less than the 27,356 through Sept. 30 of 2019.
The 2021 total handle through the first nine months of the year is an increase of $456,799,484 (56.06 percent) compared to the $814,773,458 wagered through Sept. 30 last year in 2020.
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