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HK Boss Says "Commingling Must Be Realised"
In London, Hong Kong Jockey Club chief executive Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges told the Leaders In Racing Conference (180 delegates from 15 nations, organised by GBI Racing & the UK Jockey Club) that “the major racing players around the world have to work together” & commingling of betting pools is one initiative that must be realised. Various speakers emphasised how horse racing jurisdictions must combine to create a dynamic new international racing product & Engelbrecht-Bresges noted: “Horse racing’s share has definitely gone down as sports betting has gone up. World-wide we have a shrinking, aging customer base. The major racing players around the world have to work together. The rebranding of racing is an imminent global exercise, especially to position racing as a global sport.” Among other speakers:
- Betfair co-founder Edward Wray said an international 24-hour racing broadcast channel would promote “both the sport & betting” & declared: “The most destructive attitude is to look back at what was done 30 years ago - the good old days. We need to look forward & figure out how to attract young people.”
- Australia’s Tabcorp international wagering manager Paul Cross (who noted Australians now bet on racing from the US, Japan, the UK, France & Singapore) said: “The more product we bring in, the more they want.”
- US Parx Racing (formerly Philadelphia Park) deputy chairman Bill Hogwood said racing must develop “exciting new kinds of wagers to appeal to fans” & emphasised: “Pari-mutuel operators have got to get a hold of new technology & use it on global basis.”
- British Minister For Tourism & Heritage (who oversees racing) said the government is committed to assisting racing to develop “a sustainable long-term source of income” under a system in which “racing & gambling should be symbiotic”.