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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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Sports betting is the general activity of predicting sports results by making a wager on the outcome of a sporting event. Perhaps more so than other forms of gambling, the legality and general acceptance of sports betting varies from nation to nation. In the United States, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1994 makes illegal to operate a "betting, gambling or wagering scheme", except for in the states of Delaware, Nevada, and Oregon. Nevada, however, is the only state currently allowing sports gambling, while in many European nations bookmaking (the profession of accepting sports wagers) is highly regulated but not criminalized. Proponents of legalized sports betting generally regard it as a hobby for sports fans that increases their interest in particular sporting events, thus benefiting the leagues, teams and players they bet on through higher attendances and television audiences. Opponents fear that, over and above the general ramifications of gambling, it threatens the integrity of amateur and professional sport, the history of which includes numerous attempts by sports gamblers to fix matches, although proponents counter that legitimate bookmakers will invariably fight corruption just as fiercely as governing bodies and law enforcement do. Most sports bettors are overall losers as the bookmakers odds are fairly efficient. However, there are professional sports bettors that make a good income betting sports. (Credit: Wikipedia).

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