|Californian racetracks have reported a drop in attendance figures, but a rise in betting done through the internet. Hollywood Park has experienced a 1.4 percent drop in average daily attendance, while intertrack locations in Southern California dropped 4 percent in terms of average daily attendance- the overall average being 3 percent.|
Ontrack and intertrack betting figures dropped similarly, while wagering through the internet and telephone grew by 40.6 percent. This rise exceeded projected figures- as Rick Baedeker, track president explained: “We used their [account-wagering services] projections, we didn’t think it would be that significant. Obviously, they were right.”
Baedeker also added that he was not surprised by the drop in bets placed at racing venues, with the average daily figures now reflecting a 5.5 percent drop. He considers the main cause to be competition faced by online betting operators: “What we’re seeing is a shift to offshore rebaters...It’s not healthy. We have to figure out a way to compete.”
These figures released for Californian race tracks, confirm what some land based betting operators fear when faced with online competition- that punters will be drawn away from racetracks and onto the internet. As many online operators offer better odds and returns, land based operators are now faced with strong competition for betting revenue.