Races crowds down 6,000 on biggest day of weekAugust 3, 2012 - 7:15am
BY DARA BRADLEY
Attendance at the biggest day of the Galway Races yesterday was down by almost 6,000 on crowd numbers at Ladies Day in Ballybrit last year.
A total of 37,033 people passed through the turnstiles yesterday, a considerable drop of 13% on the 2011 total of 42,789 . . . and this follows a week of reduced attendances, particularly on Tuesday when the numbers were down by a full 20% on last year.
On-course bookmakers in the ring at Ballybrit also took a battering this week with betting turnover down by as much as a third compared with last year’s seven-day Galway Races Summer Festival.
The sharp drops in both Tote and on-course bookies’ turnovers so far this week is a reflection of the dramatic decline of the country’s traditional betting industry, resulting largely from a surge in online and telephone betting.
The decline in takings in the Tote hasn’t been as steep as that in the ring but is still well down on last year – the fall-off in turnover will hit the horse racing industry ‘in the pocket’ as Horse Racing Ireland is directly funded through Tote takings and is indirectly funded by revenue generated from Government levies applied to on-course bookmakers.
For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.