How the Victorian Racing Industry rakes it in for the economy

How the Victorian Racing Industry rakes it in for the economy

This article was published in Herald Sun on 25 July 2022.

An independent report has found Victoria’s racing industry generates almost $4.7bn of value to the state economy and supports almost 148,000 jobs and participants.

Racing Victoria on Monday will release a study into the size and scope of the Victorian racing industry, incorporating the three codes – thoroughbred, harness and greyhound.

The study, updating a report conducted in 2018, found a 123 per cent increase in the real value racing added to the state economy since 2004-05.

The report, by strategic consulting business IER, found racing generated almost $3.2bn in direct expenditure in Victoria.

The industry paid more than $500m in taxation revenue to the state economy annually via wagering taxes and gaming activity at racing clubs.

And more than half of the $4.7bn in real gross value added to the economy was in the regional areas.

Racing Victoria chairman Brian Kruger said the report confirmed the industry played a crucial role in the economy “with impacts extending well beyond those seen at the ­racetrack”.

“The lifeblood of racing is our people and we are proud that 147,952 people are ­involved in, or supported by, the industry, with racing continuing to be a major employer in Victoria,” he said.

“These figures highlight the economic and social importance of the Victorian racing ­industry in both metropolitan and regional areas and we are committed to seeing racing in this state continue to grow and prosper.”

The report found thoroughbred racing accounted for 73 per cent, or $2.3bn, of direct spending impact, followed by harness racing ($2.3bn) and greyhounds ($28m).

More than 121,000 people were directly employed, volunteers or participated in racing and 26,855 had jobs in support industries.

Racing Minister Anthony Carbines said the report “shows how vital the racing industry is to our economy – particularly in regional Victoria”.

“Racing clubs are at the heart of local communities ­because they bring people ­together to enjoy a day of racing and attract visitors to all parts of the state,” he said.

The $4.7bn economic boost provided by racing in 2018-19 was up from a $4.3bn real gross value in 2016-17, $2.8bn in 2011-12 and $2.1bn in 2004-05.

Overall, 67 per cent of the industry’s expenditure impact was driven by wagering and racing.

The 2019 Spring Racing Carnival generated more than $45.1m in accommodation spending and $60m on fashion items.

The carnival, headlined by the Melbourne Cup, attracted 617,000 attendees including 82,000 out-of-state visitors.

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