Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) is said to be considering allowing punters to use online betting and betting exchanges at race courses in a bid to reverse falling attendance numbers at Irish race meetings reports the Irish Examiner. A Strategic Marketing Group report launched by the HRI this week has recommended a host of suggestions on how to revitalize the sport.
The establishment of WI-FI enabled lounges and engaging with online exchange betting providers as business partners is one of them which it suggests will attract younger bettors and reconnect with the public.
The report deduces that the drop in race course attendance is caused by the encroachment of online betting and phone betting applications.
"There’s a core of people interested in racing just to bet and there are now better options off-course rather than on-course and we have to find ways to attract people to the racecourse," said the head of the marketing group, Michael O’Rourke.
The marketing group has also recommended the reintroduction of the racecourse improvement scheme, with a particular focus on improving facilities at The Curragh and Leopardstown racecourses.
Jim Nicholson, chairman of Down Royal Racecourse and HRI board member, said "Many viewpoints have been heard and the report now sets out clearly what is needed from the customer's standpoint. We have an opportunity to put in place new practices and ways of thinking which will ensure that racing grows in popularity and will be in a position to maximise the benefits when the economy recovers".
Source: InfoPowa News