Tuesday, January 24, 2006
2005 figures show positive signs in troubled German racing

Horseracing in Germany continues to suffer from declining betting revenues. The total betting turnover dived again a few perecentage points in 2005 compared to the year before, to slightly over €59 million.

The result can partly be explained by a slight decline in racing days, from 243 in 2004 to 234 in 2005. Another important reason for Germany's difficulties is the legal uncertainty surrounding internet betting, with the existance of off-shore betting on German racing that do not contribute commissions to the racing product. A High Court decision on online betting should bring clarity and is expected to be given in February.

Although some race courses are known to be in difficulty, like the traditional Hoppegarten course, others, like Dortmund, Hannover or Dresden have managed to beat the trend and even show strong growth figures.

In contrast to some difficulties in the betting sector, German horses had a succesful 2005. A prove of this was given during the election "Horse of the Year". Elected was the colt Scirocco, who was the proud winner of the Breeders' Cup Turf at Belmont Park.

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