HRI shows 19pc drop in H1 on-course betting revenue
Horse Racing Ireland's first-half figures have highlighted the continuing struggles of on-course bookmakers in the country, who have seen a year-on-year fall in turnover of 19pc, to €39.7m. The figure continues a five-year trend, which has seen on-track turnover plummet by 52pc since 2007, and could potentially top 60pc by the end of 2012 if the present rate continues.
Brian Kavanagh, HRI's chief executive, said: "The situation for on-course bookmakers is really serious and is reflected in the figures which confirm a continuing downward trend. In the absence of betting tax reform the on-course bookmaker business will continue to encounter difficulties.
"The recession is a factor, but racecourse bookmakers are also seriously up against it trying to compete with technology through mobile and online betting and they are having to operate at a serious tax disadvantage.
"The completion of the review of the industry commissioned by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the imminent legislation on taxation of betting will together be the most important developments for the funding and administration of Irish racing since the establishment of HRI in 2001.
"All parties have engaged in a comprehensive round of consultation which gives hope that a consensus on the way forward can be found."