ONLINE DRIVES GROWTH FOR RACING AND WAGERING WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Australia’s Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA) has reported a 5 per cent increase in revenue to AUD$450.2m for its financial year ended 31 July.
The increase in revenue was largely attributed to the halt of national and international sport during the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in reduced competition from other betting products as horse racing continued to run.
However, revenue growth was impacted by the complete closure of the TAB agents retail network, with all PubTAB’s required to close on 23 March, followed by all TAB agencies two days later. Wagering activity recommenced at retail outlets on 6 June.
Revenue from the Western Australian TAB, whose sale to Tabcorp has been suspended due to COVID-19, rose by 1.5 per cent year-on-year $310.2m, with 39 per cent of wagers currently generated from digital channels.
Contributions from the Western Australian Racing Bets Levy, which is paid by operators who offer betting on Western Australian racing, grew by 15 per cent to $93.2m. Other items contributed revenue of $46.8m during the year, including $12m in revenue from the first full year of the Point of Consumption Tax, which was introduced in January 2019.
The strong revenue growth allowed the RWWA to deliver $163.3m in funding to the Western Australian racing industry, representing a $4.3m increase over the previous year.
“Due to the hard work and commitment by our racing participants and RWWA staff, together with the support of the Government, we were able to continue racing safely throughout COVID-19,” said RWWA chief executive Ian Edwards. “As a result, RWWA was able to produce solid financial results for the year and continue its ongoing commitment to fund and support the Western Australian racing industry.
“It is recognised that this did not come without sacrifice, with the implementation of many strict bio-security measures at our racetracks. To mitigate the risk of declining income and ensure the long-term sustainability of the WA racing industry, RWWA made reductions in its own cost base, as well as temporarily reducing prizemoney and breeding bonuses by 20 per cent for a four-month period.
“Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere appreciation to our customers, racing participants, TAB agents, Government and staff for their support through what has been a challenging year for all. With the sale of the WA TAB on hold, RWWA’s focus for the current financial year is to continue to manage and drive the performance of the business in the long-term interest of the State’s racing industry.”
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