Racing Victoria reports 33% increase in wagers

Racing Victoria has reported over AU$5m (US$3.9m) in wagers from August 2020 to January 2021, a 33% increase from the first half of the previous racing season.

The percentage of turnover made up by digital wagering was up 75% from the prior-year period, with retail spending falling by 12%.

The transition to online betting was accelerated by the closures of pubs and TAB outlets, which were forced to shut their doors for the first part of the reporting period due to Covid-19 restrictions across the state.

Outlets reopened regionally in mid-September, and in metropolitan Melbourne in late October. Tote betting was down 9% to AU$905.9m, while fixed betting was up 47% to AU$4.2bn.

Racing Victoria also highlighted the record turnover on Melbourne Cup day, where AU$221.6m was wagered across Australia, up 17% from the 2019 event.

Other figures released by Racing Victoria include a growth in the number of racehorse owners over the past 12 months, from 58,190 to 60,637. Furthermore, the number of Victorian races with fewer than eight starters dropped from 338 in the first half of last season to 259 in the first half of this season.

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