The Economic & Financial Significance of the Irish Greyhound Industry.

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1 The Economic & Financial Significance of the Irish Greyhound Industry. A Report prepared for the Irish Greyhound Board by Jim Power. M.Econ.Sc. April 2010

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS Page 3 Executive Summary Page 5 Introduction Page 7 The Irish Greyhound Industry Page 11 Employment in the Greyhound Industry Page 13 Contribution to Local Economy of Greyhound Owners & Trainers Page 18 Betting on Greyhounds Page 20 Greyhound Racing and Tourism Page 21 Horse and Greyhound Funding Page 22 The Irish Greyhound Board Page 24 Stream Lined Commercial Focus in Industry Administration Page 26 Conclusions 2 P age

3 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The greyhound industry in Ireland is very strong and makes a very valuable contribution to rural economic and social life and as such is a sector that is deserving of attention and recognition. The industry employs just over 10,300 people directly and indirectly. The gross wage bill generated by this employment is estimated at 207 million per annum and the tax contribution from this employment is estimated at 21 million. Employment in the greyhound industry is spread very widely across the country. This regional dispersion is reflected in the geographic spread of the 17 racetracks around the country and the ownership of greyhounds in every county. The race meetings generate significant levels of expenditure and economic activity every week in rural towns, while the greyhound owners make a significant contribution to economic activity through the purchase of the various goods and services required to maintain greyhound ownership. The industry generates economic activity and employment in rural areas, which would not happen in the absence of this very important indigenous industry. Between 2002 and 2010, 18,211 greyhound meetings were held across the Republic of Ireland, and were attended by million people. Funding of the industry has suffered during the economic downturn. The contribution from the Horse and Greyhound Fund has declined significantly over the past three years. The contribution peaked at 15.3 million in 2008; but in 2010 it had fallen by 22.2 per cent from that peak to 11.9 million. Despite the significant decline of 1.7 million in funding from the Horse and Greyhound Fund in 2009, prize money grant structures were maintained in 2009, and it was only in 2010 that the prize money grant structure reflected the decline in funding which commenced in There was a further decline of 1.7 million in funding from the Horse and Greyhound Fund in The prize money grant per race represents very good value given the economic contribution of the sector and the level of economic activity involved in getting six greyhounds born, reared, trained and ready to race. In 2009, 21,370 greyhound races were held in the Republic of Ireland. The IGB s average prize money grant was just 355 per race. This small level of contribution per race represents good value for money given the economic and financial contribution that the 6 owners who are competing in that race make to the economy in getting their greyhound ready for that race. 3 P age

4 The total cost to greyhound owners each year of keeping the greyhound pipeline in operation is around 244 million. This is a significant amount of expenditure, and much of it is injected into local economies and supports thousands of local jobs. The IGB has delivered a very impressive financial performance in recent years, despite the changed economic climate. Costs have been cut and greater efficiencies achieved, and the industry has been strongly supported. It has managed to deliver higher profits, more capital development and higher prize money between 2007 and 2010 than in the preceding four year period, despite the very difficult economic environment. To sustain and grow the greyhound industry into the future, proper sustainable funding mechanisms will have to put in place. Some of this will have to come from all betting channels. Without adequate and sustainable funding, the industry will struggle to sustain itself and its current contribution to the economy will suffer and its enormous potential will not be realized. The greyhound industry makes a very significant economic impact across Ireland and the potential is considerable. Ireland is regarded as a world class player in dog breeding and there has to be significant potential to exploit this much further. Greyhounds can become an even more significant export industry; the Irish greyhound industry model can be transferred to other countries who are seeking to develop an industry, such as China, and the domestic tourism potential has to be significantly greater than is currently being realised. The industry has an exciting future and can make an even more important contribution to national and regional economic activity and employment, provided proper support and structures are put in place. Such investment has strong justification in an economy that is facing such an array of economic and financial challenges. 4 P age

5 INTRODUCTION The Irish economy is currently trying to deal with a very difficult set of economic and financial circumstances. National incomes as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contracted by 10.9 per cent between 2007 and Unemployment has soared from 4.4 per cent of the labour force at the beginning of 2007 to 14.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2011; employment has declined by 326,600 between the peak of the labour market in the third quarter of 2007 and the end of 2010; outward migration has re commenced due to the lack of employment opportunity; and the General Government Debt (GGD) has increased from 44.3 per cent of GDP at the end of 2008 to 94.2 per cent at the end of In addition, the Irish banking system is currently not functioning as an intermediary that channels money from those who want to save to those who want to invest. The challenges ahead are immense. The fact is that the main drivers of the economy over the past decade are now in serious decline and will not re emerge as significant drivers of activity for some time to come. The construction sector is continuing to contract against a background of considerable excess supply of construction output; the retail financial services sector is too large for the new economic reality; and the retail sector will have to adjust further to the changed consumer environment. While the multi national sector of the economy, which is dominated by the Chemical & Pharmaceutical Sector and the IT sector, is performing strongly, the global environment for foreign direct investment is becoming increasingly competitive. Given Ireland s high cost base, the ability to attract labour intensive mobile investment is becoming much more difficult. Ireland s foreign direct investment (FDI) focus will have to be on higher skilled mobile investment which tends to be less labour intensive. Prior to the recent collapse in economic activity, a significant feature of the strong Irish economic performance over the previous couple of decades was the unbalanced nature of regional economic growth and development. Not all regions shared the same levels of growth, prosperity and buoyancy and in fact many rural economies lagged quite significantly in terms of employment creation and economic activity in general. It has never been more essential to identify and develop those sectors of the economy that are now contributing to Ireland s economic growth and which have the potential to contribute more strongly in the future. The challenge at a national level is to stimulate sustainable economic activity, but the challenge at the regional and rural level is to ensure a greater share of national economic activity and wealth. 5 P age

6 This short report considers one sector that already makes a very valuable contribution to Irish economic activity and one which should make an even more significant contribution in the future. The greyhound industry in Ireland is very strong and makes a very valuable contribution to rural economic and social life and as such is a sector that is deserving of attention and recognition. The Irish greyhound industry employs 10,369 people. This employment is spread very widely across the country. This regional dispersion is reflected in the geographic spread of the 17 racetracks around the country and the ownership of greyhounds in every county. These race meetings generate significant levels of expenditure and economic activity every week in rural towns, while the greyhound owners make a significant contribution to economic activity through the purchase of the various goods and services required to maintain greyhound ownership. In addition, coursing meetings generate considerable economic activity in many rural economies. For example it is estimated that the annual coursing event in Clonmel generates 15 million in the local economy. In many cases the greyhounds are owned by individuals like farmers and they help supplement incomes and support economic activity in what are in many cases less affluent parts of the country. The fact is that without the greyhound industry these jobs would simply not exist and this would result in outward migration from the region, or an increase in social welfare requirements. It is a fact that the greyhound industry has a very significant economic impact across Ireland and the potential is very significant. Ireland is regarded as a world class player in dog breeding and there has to be significant potential to exploit this much further. Greyhounds can become an even more significant export industry; the Irish greyhound industry model can be transferred to other countries who are seeking to develop an industry, such as China, and the domestic tourism potential has to be significantly greater than is currently being realised. In summary, the greyhound industry is making a very significant contribution to the economy at both a national and local level. This fact needs to be fully recognised and the industry given sufficient support, particularly during the current difficult economic times. 6 P age

7 THE IRISH GREHOUND INDUSTRY In any consideration of the economic and financial significance and contribution of a sector it is necessary to seek to calculate direct and indirect employment in the sector, the tax revenues that flow to government due to the activities of the sector, general expenditure associated with the sector s activities, and the income multiplier effect of these activities across the broader economy. It is also important to consider the regional spread of the activities in order to ascertain the spatial impact of the sector. Greyhound activities are typically regarded as a sporting activity, but the reality is that the combination of activities undertaken in the greyhound arena constitutes an industry rather than just a sporting activity. Consequently, in any consideration of the sector, it should be viewed as an industry that supports jobs, generates economic activity, and contributes to the Exchequer, rather than a sporting activity that just benefits those who participate. The fact is that the grey hound sector is an important industry that plays a significant role in the broader economy and in the rural economy in particular. Measuring the exact nature of the contribution of the greyhound sector is complicated by the fact that it is an industry that is not separately categorized by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) or any other official data collection agency. The nature of the industry is basically characterized by two main activities greyhound breeding and greyhound racing. The industry has been adversely affected by the economic downturn experienced since This is reflected in the number of meetings held, the attendance at those meetings, and the level of betting conducted at those meetings. Consumer demand across the whole economy has been adversely affected by the downward pressure on disposable incomes and the consequent retrenchment in all forms of discretionary spending across the economy. The greyhound industry has not been immune to those pressures. Funding of the industry has suffered during the economic downturn. The contribution from the Horse and Greyhound Fund has declined significantly over the past three years. The contribution peaked at 15.3 million in 2008; but in 2010 it had fallen by 22.2 per cent from that peak to 11.9 million. Sponsorship has also fallen back sharply as companies cut costs to ensure survival. Sponsorship peaked at 2.1 million in 2007, but declined to 900,000 in Despite the significant decline of 1.7 million in funding from the Horse and Greyhound Fund in 2009, the prize money grant structure was maintained in 2009, and it was only in 2010 that the prize money structure reflected the decline in funding which commenced in There was a further decline of 1.7 million in funding from the Horse and Greyhound Fund in P age

8 The prize money grants from the Irish Greyhound Board peaked in the years , averaging 8.1 million during these years, but declined to an annualized run rate of 5.9 million in As well as impacting on prize money grants, the decline in funding has made it more difficult for the Irish Greyhound Board to market and promote the industry, which does adversely affect attendance at race meetings. Chart 1 Source: Irish Greyhound Board Between 2002 and 2010 total prize monies paid out totaled 91.8 million. The IGB provided 69.3 per cent of total prize monies paid to greyhound owners. Prize money grants from the IGB totaled 29.8 million in the recessionary period between 2007 and 2010, which represented an increase of 4.6 per cent on the preceding four year period. The prize money grant per race represents excellent value given the economic contribution of the sector and the level of economic activity involved in getting six greyhounds born, reared, trained and ready to race. In 2009, 21,370 greyhound races were held in the Republic of Ireland. The IGB s average prize money grant was just 355 euro per race. This small level of contribution per race represents very good value for money given the economic and financial contribution that the greyhound industry makes to the Irish economy. At the end of 2010 there were seventeen greyhound stadia in the Republic of Ireland. Nine of these are owned by the Irish Greyhound Board and eight are privately owned. In 2010, 1,849 race meetings were held in these stadia. This is down from a peak of 2,208 in 2005 (Chart 2). 8 P age

9 The number of meetings held in 2010 was adversely affected by weather conditions. Between 2002 and 2010, 18,211 greyhound meetings were held across the Republic of Ireland. Chart 2 Source: Irish Greyhound Board Attendance figures at greyhound meetings expanded strongly between 2002 and Attendance peaked at 1.39 million in 2005 and subsequently fell to 768,000 in 2010 reflecting the changed economic environment and weather conditions (Chart 3). Between 2002 and 2010, million people attended greyhound meetings. Chart 3 Source: Irish Greyhound Board 9 P age

10 There is considerable direct and indirect economic activity associated with the greyhound industry. This includes: Breeding and training of greyhounds; Veterinary activity; Canine supplies; Manufacture of feedstuffs; Retail and catering activities; Regulatory and statutory activities; Construction activity associated with the extensive capital investment programmes; Stationery; Ireland has a very strong reputation for greyhound breeding and as a consequence, there is a considerable export industry. According to FGS Consulting 1, some 8,000 greyhounds were exported to Britain alone in 2008; Betting activity both on and off the racetrack; and Many charitable and other organizations use greyhound racing for fund raising activity. It is estimated that 7 million 2 per year is raised at greyhound meetings for worthy causes. 1 Review of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund, FGS Consulting, May Overview of the Greyhound Industry in Ireland, Adrian Neilan, CEO Bord na gcon, June 14 th P age

11 EMPLOYMENT IN THE GREYHOUND INDUSTRY The greyhound industry provides and supports considerable employment both directly and indirectly across the Irish economy. It is estimated that in 2009, the industry supported 10,369 full time and part time jobs in the economy. Table 1 provides a breakdown of where the employment is provided. Table 1 ACTIVITY EMPLOYMENT Catering Staff 1,600 Irish Greyhound Board Payroll in peak Season 900 Private Tracks Payroll 377 Irish Coursing Club 250 Cleaning & Security Services at Stadia 550 Food & Drink Suppliers to Catering Operators 500 Private & Public Trainers 530 Dog Food Manufacturers Manufacture/Sales/Distribution 562 Greyhound Ancillary Products Medicines/Treatments/Walkers/Baths/Veterinary Services/Manufacture/Distribution/Sales 950 Greyhound Owners 1,700 Betting Offices 1,400 Miscellaneous Employment 800 Stadium Construction & Ongoing Facilities Management 250 Total Direct & Indirect Employment 10,369 Source: Irish Greyhound Board 11 P age

12 The employment is provided in catering at greyhound race tracks, staff employed at tracks owned by the Irish Greyhound Board, staff employed at the privately owned tracks, staff employed in cleaning and security services at all stadia, food and drink suppliers to catering operators, private and public trainers, greyhound food manufacturers and suppliers, ancillary services such as veterinary and medicine, dog owners, betting offices, and a number of miscellaneous areas. In relation to greyhound trainers, private trainers are those who train four or less greyhounds, for financial reward, owned by other people. Public trainers have larger numbers of greyhounds, which are trained for financial reward and which are owned by other people. On average, it takes one person to look after 20 dogs. It is estimated that 78 per cent of the dogs racing in the United Kingdom are Irish bred and registered. There are 2,000 bookmaker shops in Ireland, and those that open in the morning do so mainly to facilitate betting on Irish dogs running in the United Kingdom which forms a very significant portion of business during these hours. Employment in the sector is obviously variable over the year, but many of the jobs are full time because greyhounds require looking after 365 days per year, and not only when they are racing. Many of these jobs are rurally based and in some areas the greyhound industry has become one of the few meaningful sources of employment. Adjusting for full time and part time equivalents, it is estimated that the average earnings per employee is around 20,000 per annum. Based on this average salary, the wage contribution to the economy is very significant. For purposes of estimating the economic benefits of this employment, it is necessary to calculate the gross wage bill that would be paid to workers, and the income tax and PRSI that would be paid to the Exchequer out of this gross income. An average wage of 20,000 is assumed for all employees. An average PAYE/PRSI contribution of 10% is assumed. On this basis: The gross wage bill is estimated at 207 million per annum; PAYE/PRSI paid per annum is estimated at 21 million; Net incomes generated in the industry would be 186 million; Based on a conservative income multiplier effect of 1.5, this would result in a total economic impact to the area of 279 million per annum in terms of additional spending. 12 P age

13 CONTRIBUTION TO LOCAL ECONOMY OF GREYHOUND OWNERS AND TRAINERS In an economy that is now in the midst of a deep economic crisis, and where many rural local economies have been particularly badly affected by the collapse of the construction sector, the economic and financial impact of the greyhound industry on the national and local economies is very significant. The figures used here were supplied by the Greyhound Owners and Breeders Organisation in It is likely that these numbers would have dropped since 2009, reflecting the changed economic circumstances impacting on the industry. The activities of the greyhound breeders and trainers can be broken down into a number of different stages, covering the period from when the greyhound bitch is covered to retirement of the racing greyhound. Over this cycle the following outlays are incurred and revenues generated: BREEDING AND REARING TO 12 WEEKS It is estimated that about 4,500 greyhound bitches were mated in The typical mating fee ranges from 500 to 5,000. This results in the generation and payment of stud fees in excess of 6.75 million in per year. The cost of keeping a brood bitch averages 40 per week. This means that the annual upkeep of brood bitches is close to 9.36 million. Extra veterinary expenditure may be incurred due to problem delivers or any other veterinary issues. The average cost of rearing a litter of greyhound pups to 12 weeks is 2,000. This means that the total cost of rearing these litters to 12 weeks is in excess of 8 million. In the first 12 weeks of the life of the greyhound pup, vaccinations, worming and veterinary care ranges from 50 to 75 per pup. The total financial outlay in this area is therefore estimated at 1.3 million. Greyhound matings and litters must be registered with the Irish Coursing Club (ICC) to ensure appropriate welfare and integrity management. Mating registrations with the ICC cost an estimated average of 40 per mating, creating estimated revenue of 180,000. Litter registrations with ICC cost an average of 30 per litter, generating revenues of 120,000. Total registration payments to the ICC come to an estimated 300, P age

14 THE LITTERS 12 WEEKS TO 12 MONTHS The greyhound pups enter a rearing programme at 12 weeks to 12 months. The average cost of rearing pups at this stage ranges from 35 to 50 per week. This means that the cost of taking the pups from 12 weeks to 52 weeks is around 35 million. Worming and veterinary care for this period averages 20 per month, giving a total cost of 4.5 million. This is a minimum cost, because extra expenditure may be incurred as a result of serious rearing accidents. TRAINING 12 MONTHS TO 24 MONTHS Adult greyhounds must be registered and named with the ICC. This costs an average of around 30 per dog, giving a total outlay of over 600,000. The average training fee is estimated at 70 to 85 per week per greyhound. This implies a total outlay on training of around 36 million during this 12 month period. There are numerous other training expenses incurred in getting the greyhound to the racetrack to participate in a race. These include: Travel to greyhound tracks and Veterinary Surgeons and Physiotherapists gives rise to yearly costs of 13 million. Trial fees at greyhound tracks cost 12 per week, giving a total annual outlay of around 6 million on trial fees. Race entry fees total 1.7 million. Transfer fees effected at the ICC at an average cost of 25 total 312,000. The cost of veterinary care, medication and vitamins & minerals is estimated at an average of 25 to 35 per week. This gives rise to a total annual outlay of around 13 million. Extra veterinary expenditure may be incurred due to racing injuries or rehoming procedures. 14 P age

15 TRAINING COSTS 24 MONTHS TO RETIREMENT It is estimated that 78 per cent of the greyhounds that race in the UK are bred in Ireland and hence the export market to the UK has provided a significant outlet for the greyhound breeder. Of the greyhounds that remain in Ireland, they would still be racing from 24 months to retirement. Retirement usually takes place at around 48 months. In the period from 24 months to retirement the following costs are incurred: Average training fees are estimated at 70 per week per greyhound. This gives rise to a total outlay of around 58 million in training fees. Travel to greyhound tracks and Veterinary Surgeons and Physiotherapists gives rise to total costs of around 21 million. Trial fees at greyhound tracks cost 12 per week, giving a total outlay of around 10 million on trial fees. The cost of veterinary care, medication and vitamins & minerals is estimated at an average of 25 to 35 per week. This gives rise to a total annual outlay of around 20 million. Extra veterinary expenditure may be incurred due to racing injuries or rehoming procedures. Table 2 provides a breakdown of the various costs and outlays involved from when the brood bitch is covered to the retirement of the racing greyhound. The total cost to greyhound owners each year of keeping the greyhound pipeline in operation is around 244 million. This is a significant amount of expenditure, and much of it is injected into local economies and supports thousands of local jobs. 15 P age

16 Table 2 ACTIVITY (2009) COST BREEDING Over (4,000 GREYHOUND BITCHES) Stud Fees Keeping Brood Bitch 6.75 m 9.36m LITTER TO 12 WEEKS (25,000 PUPS) Rearing Veterinary Care 8.00 m 1.30 m Registration with ICC 0.30 LITTER 12 WEEKS 52 WEEKS Rearing Programme Veterinary Care m 4.50 m TRAINING 12 MONTHS 24 MONTHS (23,000 PUPS) Registration & Naming with ICC Training Costs Travel Trial Fees Race Entry Fees 0.60 m m m 6.00m 1.7 m Transfer Fees 0.30 Veterinary Care m 24 MONTHS RETIREMENT (48 MONTHS 8,000 GREYHOUNDS) Training Costs Travel Trial Fees Veterinary Care m m m m TOTAL OUTLAYS Source: Irish Greyhound Board 16 P age

17 Table 3 BREAKDOWN OF ACTIVE OWNERS BY COUNTY COUNTY NO. OF OWNERS % COUNTY NO.OF OWNERS % Antrim % Leitrim % Armagh % Limerick 1, % Carlow % Longford % Cavan % Louth % Clare % Mayo % Cork 2, % Meath % Derry % Monaghan % Donegal % Offaly % Down % Roscommon % Dublin % Sligo % Fermanagh % Tipperary 1, % Galway % Tyrone % Kerry 1, % Waterford % Kildare % Westmeath % Kilkenny % Wexford % Laois % Wicklow % TOTAL 18,074 Source: Irish Greyhound Board Table 3 provides a breakdown of active greyhound owners in Ireland by county. There are 18,074 active owners, with a very significant spread across the country. It is clear from these figures that where there is a local stadium, the greyhound industry is very vibrant, and where a stadium does not exist, the opposite is the case. For example, Tipperary has a very vibrant greyhound industry, whereas Mayo and Sligo stand out in marked contrast. 17 P age

18 BETTING ON GREYHOUNDS Greyhound racing generates considerable betting activity. Table 4 gives a breakdown of betting activity on greyhounds split between betting on the tote and with bookmakers. In 2010, 41 per cent of total betting took place on the tote, with the remainder placed with bookmakers. The tote percentage has increased from 29.8 per cent in This reflects the growing popularity of attendance at the greyhound racetrack, which in turn reflects the dramatic improvement in facilities due to the heavy capital investment that has taken place in recent years. Just as the economic recession has impacted negatively on the number of meeting held and the total attendance at greyhound race meetings, the betting on greyhound racing has also suffered. Total betting peaked at million in 2006, and has subsequently declined by 58.4 per cent up to the end of Over that period, tote betting declined by 51.5 per cent, and betting with bookmakers declined by 62.1 per cent. Table 4 BETTING ACTIVITY TOTE BOOKMAKER TOTAL m 74.3 m m m 82.4 m m m 93.5 m m m 90.5 m m m 93.2 m m m 90.2 m m m 75.4 m m m 54.3 m 87.8 m m 35.3 m 59.7 m TOTAL m m 1,057.9 m Source: Irish Greyhound Board 18 P age

19 Chart 4 Source: Irish Greyhound Board 19 P age

20 GREYHOUND RACING AND TOURISM The tourism contribution of the Irish greyhound industry is very significant and the potential is enormous. The Irish Greyhound Board hosted over 16,000 European visitors to its stadia throughout Ireland in Tourists came primarily from the French, German and Dutch Markets. These statistics only capture those who pre book through the National IGB Sales Centre. Each local stadium would have strong partnerships with hotels and tourism outlets locally and this would result in considerable ad hoc tourism foot fall, which has not been captured in the statistics. The IGB is making significant efforts to further develop the tourism potential of the industry. It has negotiated deals with the Irish Tour Operators Association and works closely with all members in trying to meet the requirements of its customers. The IGB also works closely with local tourist offices, Discover Ireland, Dublin Tourism, Midlands Tourism, Shannon Development, Meet Shannon Limerick, Cork Convention Bureau, Hotels and Bed & Breakfasts, as well as Camping and Caravan Parks. It also works with Failte Ireland and all Failte Ireland regional offices. It attends Tourism Workshops with its ITOA colleagues and Meithal, French and UK Tour Operators in order to help grow and develop this market more. The European Tourist market is an integral part of the business of the IGB and it has embraced this by printing race cards in different languages as well as brochures on how to bet in seven different languages. The French Market is now the IGB s number one market, which is a result of a strong working relationship with Tourism Ireland in France. Visitor Numbers would primarily come through the following agencies: Abbey Tours Joe O Reilly Tours Ovation Atlantic Language Schools Irish English Tours Holiday Ireland Viking Splash Tours The IGB website is now available in a number of different languages. This is a direct response to requests from Tourism Ireland Spain and Tourism Ireland Italy, who are working closely with the IGB to increase the share of those markets. The IGB is also working closely with the EFL language students, especially in Dublin and Galway, to include greyhound racing in the activities curriculum. 20 P age

21 With proper support from other government departments and with proper funding, the IGB should be able to grow the tourism potential of the industry over the coming years. HORSE AND GREYHOUND FUNDING The Horse and Greyhound Fund was originally set up to provide permanent and guaranteed state funding for what are seen as important industries. Prior to the setting up of the fund the Horse and Greyhound industries were not in a position to invest in necessary infrastructure or promote and grow the industry. The IGB receives 20 per cent of the annual funding, with Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) receiving the remainder. The funding has been used to develop the overall greyhound industry and ensure that it continues to make a strong contribution to the overall economy. Considerable success has been achieved, but clearly there is considerable potential to develop the industry further and increase its economic contribution. To sustain and grow the greyhound industry into the future, proper sustainable funding mechanisms will have to put in place. Some of this will have to come from all betting channels. Without adequate and sustainable funding, the industry will struggle to sustain itself and its current contribution to the economy will suffer and its significant potential will not be realized. Table 6 IGB FUNDING FROM THE HORSE AND GREYHOUND FUND YEAR FUNDING YEAR FUNDING m m m m m m m m m Source: Irish Greyhound Board 21 P age

22 THE IRISH GREYHOUND BOARD The Irish Greyhound Board (Bord na gcon) is a commercial state body that was established on 28 th May 1958 under the Greyhound Industry Act, It was set up to control greyhound racing and to improve and develop the greyhound industry. Its main functions include: The control, promotion and operation of greyhound racing; The operation of totaliser betting; The regulation of public sales of greyhounds; The making of grants for prize money and the allocation of grants to improve the amenities at tracks; The licensing of greyhound tracks and their officials; The authorisation of bookmakers to conduct business at tracks and the collection of levies on course bets; and The promotion of greyhound exports. In November 2006 the Irish Greyhound Board engaged in a significant consultative process to develop the following mission statement which drive it strategic plan. The mission statement is To deliver a commercial, well regulated Greyhound Racing and Breeding Industry whilst enabling the delivery of a customer centred, highly exciting and value led entertainment experience. The objective is to achieve the following targets by 2012: a) Increase Annual attendance to 1.75M b) Achieving Net Group Track Operation of 2.25M c) Delivering Tote Revenue of 75M d) Increasing Overall Operational Effectiveness by 20% e) Showing Improvements in Welfare and Prize Money f) Driving value added new business development opportunities g) Improving the Employee Environment 22 P age

23 A key strategy associated with this mission is the continuation of its capital development program which ensures that newer facilities can attract a wider audience which will help contribute to the long term viability of the industry. Since 2002 the IGB has engaged in an extensive capital investment programme to upgrade facilities and increase the appeal of greyhound racing. Between 2002 and 2010, the IGB delivered a total capital spend of 59.3 million (Chart 5). The most recent significant capital expenditure programme was the development of Limerick Stadium. In relation to this development, over 250 people were employed during the construction phase, and over 100 people are employed in its ongoing operation. This example illustrates the contribution that such stadium development and operation makes to local economic activity. Other significant capital development opportunities exist in Kilkenny and Clonmel. Both of these stadia form part of the overall industry capital development program provided finance is put in place. Chart 5 Source: Irish Greyhound Board 23 P age

24 STREAM LINED COMMERCIAL FOCUS IN INDUSTRY ADMINISTRATION Following on from the strategic plan for the industry that was developed in November 2006, the IGB decided that a far more streamlined commercial focus would be required in order to safeguard its future. It decided to put a clear focus on operational excellence in order to dramatically reduce its operating cost and deliver high levels of capital surplus in order to fund capital developments and pay down capital debt. In recent years there has been a key focus on control of costs, reflecting the very changed and very challenging economic and financial environment. Considerable success has been achieved in reducing operating costs and major efficiencies have been achieved. Total Operating and Administration costs stood at 41.2 million in This represents a decline of 43.3 per cent on 2007 levels. Over that period staff costs have fallen from 10.2 million to 7.3 million, representing a decline of 28.2 per cent. The IGB currently has 113 full time employees, including at head office and in the racetracks. Total full time employee costs including pensions are estimated 3 at 5.23 million, which works out at an average full time employee cost of 46,267 or 41,523 excluding pension contributions. This compares very favourably with other semi state employment costs outlined in the recent Report of the Review Group on State Assets and Liabilities. Table 7 Operating Surplus YEAR OPERATING SURPLUS YEAR OPERATING SURPLUS m m m m m m m m Source: Irish Greyhound Board Reflecting the success that has been delivered in terms of achieving efficiencies, the IGB delivered an operating surplus of 2.7 million in Whilst getting similar levels of funding 3 Report of the Review Group on State Assets and Liabilities, April P age

25 from the Horse and Greyhound Fund, the IGB delivered a capital surplus of 13.9 million in the harsh economic period between 2007 and 2010, compared to 12.4 million in the preceding four year period. This surplus was delivered despite the fact that capital spending totaled 24.9 million between 2007 and 2010, up from 22.7 million over the period 2003 to In addition prize money grants totaled 29.8 million between 2007 and 2010, up from 28.5 million between 2003 and The IGB has delivered a very impressive financial performance in recent years, despite the changed economic climate. Costs have been cut and greater efficiencies achieved and the industry has been strongly supported. In summary, higher profits, more capital development and higher prize money was delivered between 2007 and 2010 than in the preceding four year period, despite the very difficult economic environment. 25 P age

26 CONCLUSIONS The Irish greyhound industry makes a very significant economic and financial contribution to Ireland s economy. It supports over 10,000 jobs and generates considerable economic activity directly and indirectly. As well as the significant national contribution, one of the most positive attributes of the industry is that it makes a very significant contribution to Ireland s spatial objectives by providing employment and generating considerable economic activity in rural areas where very little would occur in the absence of this important indigenous industry. The industry has suffered over the past couple of years against the background of the most severe economic recession in many decades. In addition, funding from the Horse & Greyhound Fund has been reduced considerably in 2009 and This is impacting on the ability of the industry to make the maximum contribution. The industry is well managed from a financial and operational perspective as evidenced by the significant ongoing capital investment programme and operating surpluses delivered by the IGB. It is clear that to grow the industry further and help it realise its full potential, more funding will be required from the Horse & Greyhound Fund. The potential for future growth can come from exports, tourism and setting up a greyhound industry in China and possibly elsewhere. The industry has an exciting future and can make an even more important contribution to national and regional economic activity and employment, provided proper support and structures are put in place. Such investment has strong justification in an economy that is facing such an array of economic and financial challenges. THIS REPORT IS BASED ON ASSUMPTIONS MADE AND INFORMATION AVAILABLE AS AT APRIL 28 th IT IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. 26 P age

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