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Sports betting to grow despite turbulent economy - 17th December 2008

Punters at the racetrack and the oval won't be put off by tough economic times, while casino and lottery customers will cut back over the next two years, a report predicts.

Revenue from horse and sports betting is expected to grow by 11.9 per cent this financial year, as the sector rebounds from the effects of equine influenza, a report by business analyst IBISWorld says.

IBISWorld industry analyst Angela Kidson said the racing industry had experienced a loss of 9.3 per cent in revenue over the 2007/08 financial year.

"It's rebounding from (fiscal) 2008 which was a terrible year for them with the equine influenza,'' Ms Kidson said.

"That hit the industry very hard: race numbers were down 16 per cent.''

In the 2009/10 financial year, the sector is expected to grow at a slower rate of around 2.5 per cent, buoyed by new interactive digital pay-TV betting sites.

The report anticipates that further interest rate cuts and the Federal Government's stimulus initiatives will increase average household disposable income by 4.98 per cent early next year.

But only a minimal portion of that is likely to be put into pokies or spent on lotto tickets, as disposable incomes are forecast to fall again in late 2009.

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