Race Round betting good sign for club
The Kalgoorlie racing season drew almost $105 million from punters across the country in 2018.
There was a 20 per cent rise in betting on the revamped Boulder Cup giving the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Racing Club’s revised Race Round schedule a big tick.
While on-course betting has been sliding in recent years across the State, interest from corporate and online bookmakers is on the up, with spending climbing from about $100 million in 2017 to $104.3 million.
Race Round betting rose from $19.7 million in 2017 to $20.1 million in 2018 after its shift from a seven day event to a two-week carnival.
The improvement in Boulder Cup betting was the headline result for the KBRC but was offset by a 12 per cent drop in national spending on the Kalgoorlie Cup, which clashed with a metropolitan meeting at Belmont.
Racing and Wagering WA commercial racing and planning manager David Hunter said Kalgoorlie-Boulder was impacted by small field sizes and its growth in 2018 was weaker than other regional clubs closer to Perth. But he said wagering was strong and placed the KBRC behind Bunbury, Pinjarra and Northam among WA’s biggest provincial drawcards.
“The increase has been higher at other venues but that’s been driven largely by the field size issue we’ve seen in Kalgoorlie this year,” he said. “I was really pleased with Race Round and Boulder Cup was up 20 per cent on last year, so that was a really positive move to bring forward the Boulder Cup.”
New KBRC chairman John Relph said the club would continue to push RWWA for a standalone Kalgoorlie Cup but planned to run their showcase event on a Saturday regardless of potential clashes with Perth.
Mr Relph said the most important factor for the club’s financial success was drawing crowds to spend money at the venue.
“I think Saturday works better, even though the betting turnover was down 12 per cent there was still a lot of people betting that day (on course) who would have been betting on Kal and on Perth and then Northam the day after,” he said.
“If we’ve got 7000-8000 people on course our turnover is going to be up. It is bums on seats and the way we can make money these days is through the gate, through our packages and through the bars, that’s direct money coming straight to us.”
Mr Relph said the club would discontinue the float subsidy it set up this year to entice out-of-town trainers to bring their horses to the Goldfields.
But he said the KBRC was working hard to get more horses from metropolitan, regional and local trainers stabled in KalgoorlieBoulder to boost field sizes in 2019.
Owner of Measurement Control Engineering Jeff Martin and owner of Riklan Emergency Management Services Mick Nollas.