Saturday, 14 July 2012
: A big jump in TAB fixed odds betting was a highlight of the Grafton Cup carnival.
More than $1.1 million was invested on fixed odds bets with TAB Sportsbet on the Ramornie and Grafton Cup meetings, supplementing a healthy increase in TAB turnover.
TAB turnover on Grafton Cup Day was $3.1 million, up on last year's $2.8 million.
TAB betting on the Ramornie Handicap was $496,500 while the Grafton Cup turnover was $474,800 excluding fixed odds turnover.
A 10% downturn in attendance over the carnival was disappointing but was expected considering the tough economic climate, said Clarence River Jockey Club chief exectuive Bradley de Martino Rosaroll.
He said just under 10,000 people attended Grafton Cup Day compared with nearly 11,000 last year.
"In general was very successful - it's been another great carnival," he said.
"It's disappointing to see crowds down but we were expecting it with the current business climate.
“You just have to talk to other businesses in Grafton to know that things are slow."
He dismissed suggestions the gate entry price rise from $20 to $25 this year put people off coming to the races.
"We've heard some complaints about there being no concession price available and we'll take that on board but the price is on par with other major country racing carnivals,” he said.
Crowd behaviour at this year's carnival was applauded by police and licensing authorities.
NSW Police Inspector Murray Gillett said the crowds were "outstanding" and far better than past years with no arrests and only 11 removed from the Clarence River Jockey Club for being intoxicated.
With under 18s again permitted to attend only two under-age people were denied entry.
Inspector Gillett said police and officers from the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing were very pleased with the way the event was run.
"The carnival will see many more years without problems if it keeps running this way," he said.
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