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SBD Global/November 15, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

RV Set For Cost-Cutting Measures Due To Rising Costs, Stagnant Gambling Revenue

Racing Victoria "is trapped between spiralling costs and stagnant gambling revenue, forcing it to cut costs and ponder ambitious program changes designed to boost wagering from offshore markets," according to Michael Lynch of THE AGE. The result is likely to be more night meetings, "designed to dovetail into the right time zones for Asia and Europe." It is also likely to lead to a concentration of quality product on fewer days, "particularly in the late summer and autumn, in a bid to drive wagering growth and boost on-track attendances." The sport's rulers "are also looking to foster increased interest from women across all sectors of the industry, not just as racegoers but also as participants." The rise of corporate bookmakers and the rapid explosion of digital technology, "which has changed the media and wagering landscape, has hit the industry and it is floundering as it seeks ways to rebuild its revenue base." RV CEO Bernard Saundry said, "We have a A$5 billion wagering market which is growing at 1 to 2 percent a year, while our costs are growing at 3-4 percent a year." Chair Rob Roulston said that "the industry was struggling to adjust to the new reality where it was no longer completely subsidised by generous payments from a monopoly tote." Roulston: "Costs have to be looked at, we won't compromise on service but that does not mean you can't cut costs and maintain services" (THE AGE, 11/15).

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