Racing Queensland has unveiled its first half results for the 2019/20 financial year with solid progress being realised across the industry.
With RQ committed to providing increased transparency, the results can be viewed at www.racingqueensland.com.au, with the organisation publishing the data in its Key Objectives dashboard on a quarterly basis.
Highlights from the year-to-date include:
o Healthy revenue growth (+25.6% to $139.4m);
o A large increase in returns to participants (+20.8% to $104.1m); and
o Improvement in attendances and participation (+2.1% to 332,496).
Late last year, RQ published its latest economic data, which outlined the size and scope of the Queensland racing industry.
The IER report demonstrated the industry’s annual contribution to the state’s economy had grown to more than $1.5 billion per annum – a 13% increase from 2016/17 – whilst creating more than 2000 additional full-time jobs.
“The Queensland racing industry continues to make great strides thanks to the support and investment of the Palaszczuk Government through their Country Racing Support Package and additional industry reform funding,” RQ Chairman Steve Wilson said.
“As a result, there has been strong economic growth in the size of our contribution to the Sunshine State including a significant uplift in jobs.
“During the first half of FY20, wagering turnover on Queensland product has reached a new half year record of $2.23 billion which represents a $64.8 million increase.
“With the Australian wagering market presently re-setting – and declines being realised in other racing territories across the nation – the Queensland performance highlights our commercial approach including the return of Eagle Farm, the successful non-TAB to TAB conversions and carnival innovations across all three codes.”
Whilst turnover with corporate bookmakers has grown (3.5% or $69.7m), turnover declines were realised by QTAB (-12.7% or $101m).
As it stands, RQ remains insulated until the end of the calendar year through the provision of guaranteed QTAB payments, however, the much publicised Tabcorp merger revenue benefits remains an ongoing concern.
QTAB revenue was generally flat through the first half of FY20 on the back of improved yields.
Across the three codes, wagering turnover increased with greyhounds leading the way following up-grades at Capalaba and Bundaberg.
The TAB conversions have directly led to an additional 540 greyhound races and 4.4% turnover growth.
Importantly, revenue has also strongly increased across the codes, with thoroughbreds (+23%) and harness (+21%) leading the way.
Code Turnover TAB Races
Thoroughbreds 1,513,896 (+3.0) 1,703 (+ 4.7%)
Greyhounds 476,183 (+ 4.4%) 1,216 (+ 9.0%)
Harness 240,225 (+ 0.1%) 2,990 (+22.6%)
Total 2,230,304 (+ 3.0%) 5,909 (+14.1%)
Returns to participants included an additional $15.4 million in prize money (+22.8%), $1.3 million for jockeys and drivers’ fees (+16%) and $1.4 million for critical racing infrastructure and club funding (+15%).
“As our revenues increase, it’s important that our returns to participants do likewise,” Mr Wilson said.
“The majority of the recent prize money increases have been returned to grassroot participants, sustaining the thousands of Queenslanders employed in the industry across the state.”
With the TAB Queensland Summer Racing Carnivals recently concluding, the full results will be included in the third quarter dashboard.
The new-look thoroughbred carnival delivered pleasing results, with the introduction of The Wave and The Gateway complimenting an enhanced Magic Millions program.
The Star Magic Millions Raceday set a new Queensland turnover record of $58 million – eclipsing last year’s mark of $57 million – whilst turnover for The Wave was $27 million, which was more than 30% up on last year’s corresponding meeting.
Across the board, turnover throughout summer was consistent with last year, whilst revenue was strong.
The summer harness and greyhound carnivals also provided healthy revenue results.
With the re-development of the Ipswich Turf Club to be completed this year, including the new tie-up stalls and track upgrades, the replacement of the synthetic track at the Sunshine Coast Turf Club will also take place.
With natural disasters including flood, fire and drought ravaging the state, the second half of FY20 is expected to be more modest, but will continue to be supported by important enhancements to our carnivals and further focus on country racing.