Philippines: Horse Racing industry rising in power amid pandemic

Posted: May 20, 2021 13:57 Category: Asia , Sportsbetting ,

Sales this year amounted to around P500 million and are expected to reach P3 billion by December

In spite of the the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Philippine Racing Commission (PHILRACOM) Chairman, Reli De Leon, has taken steps to ensure the continued growth of the industry.

Philippine horseracing provides over Php 1 billion in contributions to the national government and over 12,000 job placements.

During a forum by the Philippine Sportswriting Association (PSA) on Tuesday, De Leon said “We were able to survive. We will grow even bigger than what we expect.” Also present in the forum was PHILRACOM Executive Director Dr. Andrew Buencamino and deputy Ronald Corpuz.

During the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, horse racing events were cancelled for six months last year. However, towards the end of 2020, events were being held, helping keep the industry alive.

De LeonDe Leon stated, “So far this year, we’ve had sales of around P500 million. And we expect the sales to reach P3 billion by December,”

Races are scheduled Thursday to Sunday and are divided among three race clubs in the country – Manila Jockey Club, Inc. in Carmona, Cavite; Philippine Racing Club, Inc. in Naic, Cavite; and Metro Manila Turf Club, Inc, in Malvar, Batangas.

Off-track betting (OTB) stations have been fully operational, with PHILRACOM also gaining an advantage due to its online betting platforms where Filipinos abroad can continue betting on races.

“Our online betting has improved from 3 percent of the total sales last year to 18 percent this year,” said De Leon.

Events are planned for the rest of the year, such as the Chairman’s Cup; the Classic Cup and Juvenile Cup in September; the Silver Cup in November; and the Presidential Gold Cup and Grand Derby on December.

De Leon says “If we are looking at P2.8 billion to P3.2 billion in sales this year, we are targeting P5 billion next year.”

De Leon hopes that the increased sales will come with a tax adjustment. “In all of Asia, we are the highest. We’re hoping for an amendment on this. Even if they just compare it to Hong Kong or Singapore,” said De Leon.

The Philippines has the highest tax on total sales at 29.5 percent, higher than Hong Kong’s 16.3 percent and Singapore’s 20 percent.

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