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New forms of betting create problems for racing industry

Thoroughbred breeder speaks out about plight of US horse racing

Wednesday 28th July 2004

In the US thoroughbred breeder Leslie Roncari, has been commenting on the challenges facing US racing in the wake of the rise of online and phone betting options. Whilst the online gambling industry is enjoying new levels of success, the racing industry is worried about the effects on their industry.

The movement of punters towards online, phone and interactive TV betting options, is not only having an impact on the on track wagering revenues being placed, but also on attendance at the racetracks.

Roncari released comments on the situation the racing industry is currently in: '...Getting people out to the track to watch horse racing has become tougher and tougher in the past three decades. Before the boom of simulcasts and off-track betting in the 1970s, a fan could bet legally only at the track. Over the past 30 years, the conveniences of betting have grown exponentially.”

'Today, a bettor doesn't need to go to an off-track parlor to wager. From the couch at home, bets can be placed by phone or online on any number of thoroughbred races...the fear for many is that lack of exposure to the sport in a live setting will prevent the next generation of bettors from emerging. And horse racing subsists on betting. More and more tracks outside the hotbeds of the sport have also been forced to deal with the increase of casinos and other forms of gaming. Many have become dependent on slot machines to increase purses and help people stay in the industry.“

'...Though the money wagered on horse racing has increased each of the past 10 years, the amount bet at the track has steadily decreased. Those numbers away from the track include online and phone wagering. A bettor connected with DirecTV or the Dish Network can sit at home and watch races from many top tracks on TVG, billed as the interactive horse racing network...'

Source: OnlineCasinoNews

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