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First National Greyhound Consultative Forum event of 2019 takes place in Limerick as IGB announce 2018 statistics

Thursday, 31st January, 2019 4:15pm
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First National Greyhound Consultative Forum event of 2019 takes place in Limerick as IGB announce 2018 statistics

 

The first National Greyhound Consultative Forum of 2019 took place in IGB head offices in Limerick on January 30 and positive discussions were had around a number of key issues.

Brexit was particularly highlighted as a key challenge that the industry must face in 2019.

IGB Chairman Frank Nyhan opened the Forum and began with the positive news that breeding numbers have ‘stabilised’ among Irish greyhounds along with Christmas having been a good one for stadia “across the board.”

IGB Chief Financial Officer Michael Murnane then presented a financial review of the year 2018, which was described as a “mixed year”, with Q4 being “relatively strong”. Total turnover from racing activities in 2018 was €27.3 million, compared to €26.4 million in 2017.

Overall attendance at the 16 stadia was 506,142 last year, compared to 514,876 people passing through the turnstiles in 2017. However, IGB-controlled tracks (Shelbourne Park, Limerick, Cork, Youghal, Tralee, Waterford, Galway, Mullingar & Newbridge) saw a 3.2% increase in overall attendance, from 376,019 to 388,079. Average attendances per race meeting are down overall and this was again referenced as something that needs to be addressed within the industry as a matter of urgency. The outlook for 2019 predicts an increase in prize money, mainly due to the restoration of a full racing calendar.

The following offers an overview of the financial performance of the IGB for the year ended 31 December 2018:

 

Financial Year 2018

Financial Year 2017

Total turnover from racing activities                     

€27.3m

€26.4m

Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund

€16.0m

€16.0m

Prize money from owners and sponsorship

€1.6m

€1.8m

Winnings paid on Tote wagering

€12.3m

€11.9m

Operating costs of racing activities

€13.1m

€13.2m

Central operating costs

€7.0m

€8.0m

Prize money

€9.0m

€8.0m

 

The above financial figures are subject to audit.

The following notes race activity and participation in the IGB for the year ended 31 December 2018:

 

Financial Year 2018

Financial Year 2017

Review of race activity

 

 

Number of races

15,860

15,610

Number of race meetings

1,586

1,578

Average number of races per race meeting

10.00

9.89

 

 

 

Race participation

 

 

Number of runners

93,412

92,241

Racing pool – monthly average

3,400

3,276

Run rate

2.03

2.07

Number of non runners

1,748

1,419

% non runners

1.9%

1.5%

 

Partner at Indecon, Dr Ronnie O’ Toole, was welcomed to speak about the strategic review of the ‘industry footprint’. Dr. O’ Toole noted the “very important role” that the greyhound industry plays, “particularly in rural areas.” He also made it clear that Indecon will soon be inviting submissions in electronic, written and verbal form from as many industry stakeholders as possible. The project will include: an assessment of infrastructure at all 16 IGB-licensed stadia, a financial assessment of future sustainability at each track, as well as a detailed analysis of population catchments.

After the Forum, IGB CEO Gerard Dollard commented: “The Forum is a particularly important event for greyhound industry stakeholders as it allows us to come together as one and discuss important issues. Brexit will be particularly challenging for us in 2019, as we are uniquely reliant on the UK market. Increasing attendances at our stadia is our top priority this year. There are reasons to be positive. We can look forward with a huge sense of optimism and a bright future, as our industry looks to renew itself in 2019 and beyond.”

The next National Greyhound Consultative Forum is due to take place in April 2019.

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