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Racing Must Focus On Customer Warns HKJC Chief
Sports betting will overtake global racing turnover this year and that only a "customercentric" approach can maintain racing's relevance, Hong Kong Jockey Club chief executive Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges has warned, reports scmp.com. Engelbrecht-Bresges opened the 35th Asian Racing Conference in Hong Kong as the keynote speaker in an opening session titled "Racing's lifeblood - the future landscape for wagering" and said that addressing the specific needs of the customer was vital if a sustainable model for racing was to be maintained. Since 2007, racing's US$130 billion turnover has largely remained steady, while the 2007 figure of US$108 billion in betting on sports has continued to rise. "In 2014, sports betting turnover will, for the first time, exceed that of horse racing, and the gap will keep widening. To put it simply, we are losing market share in the global gaming market and as a result have to be very careful we don't lose relevance, not only to our customers but to independently run wagering operators," Engelbrecht-Bresges said. Engelbrecht-Bresges noted that while other major global sports like football were able to get the largest share of their revenues from broadcast rights, which had a link to the rise of sports betting and also incomes from commercial sponsorship, racing relied on wagering for 65 per cent of its revenue. "For most racing jurisdictions, the revenue sources of commercial, broadcasting and match-day contributions collectively account for only 15 per cent," he said.