On 5 October, the IFHA published its Annual Report 2008. Although the figures of many countries are already known for quite some while, the report is the first and only that brings together the relevant racing and betting statistics for the whole world in one source.
One of the perhaps surprising figures is the annual betting turnover, that increased in 2008 compared to 2007 by 1.2% to €85.2 billion (around US$ 115 billion). That figure has to be read with care because some countries that have suffered much from the economic crisis, have also suffered in betting terms, like the US. In addition, the figure is expressed in the strong euro currency, while national betting is off course done in local currency. This is the reason that in this year's report, the development of betting and prize mony is expressed in % change related to domestic currency.
Another important figure is the 7,5% rise in prize money. 34 out of the 43 member countries whose statistics have been used have reported a rise in prize money. Other indicators show a stable foal birth birth and amount of races. Again, there will be strong differences in performance from country to country.
The full Annual Report can be downloaded from this site. A hard copy can be ordered by email.