04/22/2016 12:50PM

California handle down slightly in 2016 first quarter

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Betting on races at all California racetracks showed a decline of less than 1 percent in the first quarter of 2016, according to a report issued Thursday by Rick Baedeker, the executive director of the California Horse Racing Board.

Handle in the first three months of the year reached $747.3 million, down 0.6 percent from $752.2 million in the first three months of 2015. The figure includes Thoroughbred racing at Golden Gate Fields and Santa Anita, Standardbred racing in Sacramento, and the Quarter Horse and lower-level Thoroughbred meeting at Los Alamitos. Data were compiled from ontrack handle, account wagering, and simulcast locations.

In March, handle at all venues fell 1 percent to $245.8 million from $249.5 million in March 2015.

In his report, Baedeker said an increase in rainfall this year, particularly in Northern California, was a factor. “That contributes to the numbers being down a little bit,” he said.