Racing in Western Australia contributes nearly $970 million to the State’s economy, with many of the financial and social benefits flowing to regional areas, a new report has revealed.

The report commissioned by Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA) examined the scope and size of the WA racing industry in 2018/19 and showed a rise of almost $150 million in economic value since the previous 2014/15 report, which recorded $821 million.

Racing directly supports 4546 full-time equivalent jobs, up from 3696 in 2014/15 and indirectly supports 8452 full-time jobs, rising from the previously recorded 7361.

Nearly 25,000 people take part in the racing industry in WA including as employees, volunteers, breeders, stable and kennel workers, jockeys and drivers, and racing club and industry staff.

Of the $970 million economic value, nearly half is generated in regional WA.

Overall benefits flow through to accommodation, transport, retail and fashion, food and beverage suppliers as well as direct racing related requirements such as wages, stock feed, veterinarians, equipment hire, and marketing and promotion.

Chief Executive Officer Ian Edwards said the report showed not only a continued rise in the economic contribution of racing but also the extension of value beyond financial benefits.

“Thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing play an important role in the social and community life of the metropolitan area and rural and regional centres,” Ian said.

“Around 200 community organisations or charities are assisted financially by racing clubs, which helps to build valuable community partnerships.

“In terms of race day attendance there continues to be as much excitement at the red-dirt races of the Kimberley and the Goldfields as the summer racing carnivals in the city, showcasing the vast impact of racing across all areas of the State.”

Due to COVID-19 disruption of normal activity in 2020, the report was based on the 2018/19 racing season.

Key findings:

  • Total direct spending of $870.3 million
  • Value-added contribution to the State of $970 million
  • Directly supports 4546 full-time equivalent jobs
  • Indirectly supports 8452 full-time equivalent jobs
  • More than 24,480 participants
  • 579,805 attendances at thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing events
  • 50 racing clubs held 854 racing meetings with 7852 races.

The full report can be viewed here.