Racing Victoria has reported record wagers of AU$5m (US$3.9m) between August 2020 and January 2021.
Australia.- Racing Victoria Limited, the governing body for thoroughbred horseracing in Victoria, has reported that wagers on the sport totalled more than AU$5m (US$3.9m) during the first half of its 2020/21 financial year. The number represents a 33 per cent increase compared to the previous period.
The growth was fueled by an increase in online gambling, which accounted for 86.5 per cent of wagers, up 75 per cent from the prior-year period. Retail wagers fell by 12 per cent.
The turn towards digital wagering was due to the Covid-19 restrictions as pubs and TAB outlets were forced to close for much of 2020.
The country’s most famous horseracing meeting, the Melbourne Cup, which was held without spectators, saw a record turnover of AU$221.6m, up 17.3 per cent from the 2019 event.
Anti-gambling group campaigns to end sports betting ads
The Alliance for Gambling Reform (AGR) has claimed that sports wagering was the fastest-growing form of gambling in the country during the last year, and put the blame on sports betting ads.
According to the Australian Gambling Research Centre (AGRC), one in three participants in a survey of 2,000 opened a new online betting account during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Brent Jackson, chief executive of corporate bookmaker lobby group Responsible Wagering Australia, denied AGR accusations and claimed the issue was non-existent.