A SIGNIFICANT increase in sales was noted following the approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to the re-opening of 72 off-track betting stations (OTBS) regulated by the Games and Amusements Board (GAB).
The increase in sales of OTBS operators in the country came after nearly eight months of hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The GAB-Horse Racing Betting Aspect Division has released the official sales report of the Metro Manila Turf Inc. (MMTCI), Manila Jockey Club Inc. (MJCI), and Philippine Racing Club Inc. (PRCI) beginning Sept. 6 until Oct. 25.
GAB Chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra welcomed the news, saying the increase in the sales of the OTBS is positive development in the horseracing industry.
“We are grateful to IATF for recognizing the plight of our OTBS operators and for finally allowing horseracing events and OTBS operations to resume in the country,” said Mitra in a statement.
The data has shown that, with the reopening of 72 betting kiosks in the National Capital Region and Region IV-A, the total sales of MMTC, MJCI, and PRCI have increased by 45.20 percent compared to the 6,834,010 sales earned from October 18 racing events.
Last June 10, Mitra himself presented the interim health and safety protocols prepared by medical experts to the IATF Executive Committee.
However, the IATF Executive Committee deferred the matter to the IATF-Technical Working Group (TWG) in order to gather more information about the industry and to conduct the necessary pilot testing to ensure the health and safety of the betting public.
Last Sept. 28, Mitra was finally given the opportunity to discuss the specific guidelines on the operations of OTBS, including the one-time betting policy, advance betting policy, and appropriate engineering and administrative controls to be abided by the owners, to the IATF-TWG.
GAB Commissioners Eduard Trinidad and Mario Masanguid both lauded the IATF and the horseracing stakeholders for reaching a win-win solution during the pandemic.
“This is a good sign for the horse racing industry that despite the pandemic that we are experiencing right now, we are slowly recovering and fortunately, based on the sales data, much better than before,” said Trinidad.
“The GAB also laud the efforts of OTBS operators on their initiative to revive the horse racing industry amid the gloom of the pandemic,” said Masanguid.