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Victorian racing turnover surpasses $6 billion mark

Fri, Jun 16, 2:35pm by Staff Writer

Racing Victoria is claiming a 24 per cent growth in wagering on Victorian racing over the past three years, confirming that overall turnover surpassed $6 billion for the current financial year.

In an era where racing is struggling to compete with the increasing attraction of sports and online betting, the news is a much-needed positive for an industry which has had its share of scandals over recent years.

Victorian racing has battled through the cobalt doping scandal, which has involved protracted legal action, the overturn of long-term suspensions against key trainers, and the decision of champion trainer Peter Moody to talk away from training all together.

But amid the turmoil, RV is painting a much rosier picture in terms of the overall betting on thoroughbred racing.

it says that $6 billion milestone was achieved on the eighth race at Flemington last Saturday, 10 June 2017, with three weeks still to run in FY17.

It claims a new media rights model, enhanced race programming and continued investments in integrity, welfare and tracks is behind the 24 per cent surge, but is yet to outline where the additional turnover is being driven from.

The joint-venture with Tabcorp, which has been the long-term lifeblood for the sport, is diminishing by the year as punters turn away from pari-mutual betting towards fixed odds.

Certainly the relationship between Racing Victoria and Tabcorp is strained with RV being one of the major objectors to Tabcorp’s proposed $11 billion with Tatts.

Racing authorities have struck product fee deals with corporate bookmakers which have enabled them to supplement that reduction of revenue from deals such as the one between RV and Tabcorp.

But it is unclear exactly how much of this money flows directly back to the industry, meaning that while turnover may be up, the impact of revenue for the industry remains unclear.

Nonetheless Racing Victoria (RV) Chief Executive, Giles Thompson, said the result was a thumbs up for the approach Victoria is taking to the sport and that money was flowing back to participants.

“We’re delighted to reach this milestone which is an important indicator of the health of Victorian racing and the faith that punters have placed in the quality and integrity of our sport,” Thompson said.

“Through the combined efforts of all stakeholders in FY17, the industry has delivered high quality racing on well prepared tracks that punters can view anywhere, anytime which has helped drive this increased investment.”

“Strong wagering performances have allowed us to announce $40 million worth of increases in prizemoney and bonuses since May 2015 with owners and participants set to compete for a record $214 million in Victoria in the 2017-18 racing season.

“It has also allowed us to continue our significant investments in integrity, equine welfare, infrastructure, tracks and media to promote on-going growth in the sport and to support the 20,000 equivalent full-time employees in Victorian racing.”

“Of the record $6 billion wagered to date in FY17, 53% has been on metropolitan racing and 47% on country racing with average turnover per Victorian race meeting climbing to $11.4 million – an increase of 25.7% over the past three years.”

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