When the entire country is fighting the deadly coronavirus, the Philippines horse racing industry seems to rise into power even during the pandemic.
The chairman of the Philippine Racing Commission(PHILRACOM), Reli De Leon, has taken significant steps to make sure the growth of the horse racing industry keeps on moving forward.
The Philippines horse racing industry is immense and provides up to Php 1 billion as a contribution to the national government. There are around 12,000 job possibilities in the Philippines horse racing industry.
As per a forum launched by the Philippines Sports writing Association(PSA) on 18th May 2021, De Leon stated, “We were able to survive during the pandemic. We will grow bigger than we ever expected. Philippines executive director, Andrew Buencamino and deputy Ronald Corpuz were also present in the forum.
During the initial surge of Covid-19, the horse racing events were closed for six months last year to ensure the safety of the public and the staff. However, near the end of the year 2020, horse racing events were slowly being organized to keep the industry active and growing.
De Leon commented, “So far this year we have managed to have sales of around P500 million, and we are expecting that this figure will rise to P3 billion by the end of December 2021.”
The scheduled races are divided into different racing clubs in the Philippines; these clubs are Manila Jockey Club, Inc. in Carmona, Cavite, Philippines Racing Club, Inc. in Naic, Malvar, Batangas, and Cavite, and Metro Manila Turf Club. The races are scheduled from Thursday to Saturday.
The Off-track betting (OTB) stations are now fully functional. PHILRACOM has also gained many benefits due to the high inclination toward the online betting platforms where Filipinos living abroad can enjoy their love of horse racing and place their bet.
De Leon said, “Online betting on horse racing has increased our sales by 3% in the last year and by 18% percent in the current year.”
All the events such as the Chairman Cup, Classic Cup, Juvenile Cup in September, Silver Cup in November, and the Grand Derby and the Presidential Gold Cup are planned. The Philippines horse ridding events seems to be booked for this year.
As per De Leon, the Philippine Racing Commission(PHILRACO) sales targeted by P5 billion; hence, even if the sales reach P2.8 or P3.2 billion, it will still be a huge success.
There are high hopes to increase the sales of the Philippines horse racing industry because now online betting is also playing a major role in deciding the overall revenue generated by the industry.
De Leon hopes that the increase in sales will be accommodated because of tax adjustment. He adds, “In entire Asia, we are at the highest. We are hoping for an amendment for this fact. We are even higher when compared to Hong Kong or Singapore.”
The Philippines horse racing industry has the highest tax of 29.5% on the total sales of the industry. Philippines tax on total sales is higher than Hong Kong with 16.3% and Singapore with 20 percent.
The Philippines ‘ horse racing industry showcased substantial growth even though the country is still in the pandemic. The restrictions are slowly being released; hence there are high chances of the horse racing industry growing into more power in the future.