The downward trend in racecourse betting since 2007 continued in Kildare in 2012, according to new figures released by Horse Racing Ireland.
Bloodstock sales increased last year, however.
On-course betting at racecourses including Punchestown and The Curragh fell sharply, continuing the downward trend since 2007, with on-course bookmakers’ turnover down €129.4m since that year.
Tote turnover, however improved in 2012, mainly through growth in international deals according to HRI.
“The figures tell their own story,” said Paul Hensey, general manager of the Curragh Racecourse.
“Our 2012 on-course bookmakers’ figures fell to €6.2 million verses just over €7 million in 2011 and this has continued to fall since 2007. The Tote betting figure showed a slight increase in 2012 by €20,000 to just over €5 million in the year as did our attenance figures which rose to 100,000 in 2012 from 98,000 in 2011.”
Attendance figures at Punchestown racecourse fell by five percent to 114,860 in 2012, which was blamed on the weather.
“This was as a direct result of the weather,” said Liam Holton, commercial manager of Punchestown. “The trend for on-course bookmakers’ is consistently down over the past number of years and that’s the way it is going to continue.”.
Meanwhile, bloodstock sales in 2012 grew strongly for the second year in a row, with turnover up 15.4% to €93.5m according to HRI.
The number of horses in training and the number of racehorse owners continued to fall.
While 2012 saw a modest overall prize-money improvement, Ireland, according to HRI “continues to lose ground to its international competitors with recent prize-money increases for 2013 announced in both Britain and France”.