The COVID crisis led to many industries battling to stay afloat but the pandemic produced record growth in Racing Victoria’s betting turnover for the first half of the season.
Racing was one of the few sports to remain largely uninterrupted while other sectors of the economy endured lengthy shutdowns last year.
The absence of other sports left racing as almost the sole outlet for punters, boosting turnover on Victorian racing by more than 32 per cent to $5.06 billion.
Fixed odds betting leapt from $2.82 billion for the same period in 2019/20 to $4.162 billion, a rise of 42 per cent.
But Racing Victoria chief executive Giles Thompson conceded the growth levels won’t happen again.
“These figures will be a millstone for us because we’ll never be able to match the rate of growth, we’ve had in the first six months of the season,” Thompson said.
Thompson said the huge growth numbers should not give the impression RV’s revenues have increased by the same level.
Racing Victoria Chief Executive Giles Thompson says the sport’s governing body will still make a profit this season despite paying out millions in rescue funds to clubs. Picture: AAPSource:AAP
Racing Victoria’s revenue suffered with the closure of TAB agencies for weeks on end.
RV is a joint venture partner with the TAB, receiving a slice of the profits of the Victoria TAB’s racing and sports betting.
“Our revenue growth doesn’t match our turnover but our revenue growth has still been good,” Thompson said.
“For the moment at the year-to-date, our revenue growth is about 10 per cent.
“I would take that any day in any year.
“That’s a good outcome but it’s not a 30 percent rise in revenue. It’s 10 per cent.”
Thompson said he expected RV to make a profit this season, which ends on July 31, but it he expects the rate of growth to soften as punters return to betting on other sports.
He added the surprising revenue jump enabled Racing Victoria to put together relief packages for racing clubs, which were hit by the lockout of crowds over the peak spring period.
“It’s that (growth which allowed us to give $34 million to the clubs and it’s that which allowed us to restore prizemoney,” Thompson said.
Originally published asPunters splurge record turnover on racing
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