Alwin Sangeelee received his show Talk of the Town on Wednesday, William Hardy, Managing Director of Automatic Systems Ltd, Hiren Jankee, chairman of the Gaming Regulatory Authority (GRA) and Merven Gilbert, president of the Mauritius Turf Club.
> The paris they still suffer from a poor image in public opinion?
William Hardy: It is true that paris suffer from poor perception. As a responsible company, we have nothing to hide. The perception is there and you just have to try to change it. The paris exist and there will always be punters, but it should, perhaps, a better coaching and change the perception of the long-term.
> In 2013, the global economic situation remains difficult, have you noticed you some decline in the number of players?
William Hardy: There has been some reduction. Competition is fierce as well. For example, at the races and the tote, there was a significant decline since 2009. Compared to last year, we are about 4% below, but since 2009, we dropped by more than 40%. By cons, at the paris on football, we make this year a pretty good performance, the fact that today we pay the tax for our bettors. So it brought a positive result.
A comparison of horse racing and football games because in Mauritius, there is a certain opacity. But there has sanctions against. Is it enough to restore horse racing?
William Hardy: When money is involved, there is the impression that many races are rigged. I do not go into this controversy. When there's money involved, there are certainly temptations. I'm not here to critique, but it is important that the Mauritius Turf Club (MTC) is above the fray and take strict measures. We need the confidence of bettors. If they abandon the race tomorrow to bet on the lottery or football, it will be bad for the racing industry. I must say that 75% of revenues come from paris MTC. It is important to convey an accurate picture of the races.
> The world of wonders for bettors that sanctions rained every week of the jockeys who have not mounted to the satisfaction of the Commissioners of the MTC. On Tuesday, the ax fell for a jockey who has not mounted to the satisfaction of the Commissioners and the punters will not be refunded. Such episodes do they tarnish the image of horse racing in Mauritius?
Merven Gilbert: I want to reassure everyone that the MTC does everything in its power to take the necessary steps to protect the equestrian world. We must also see how it goes, because in the past we had 29-30 days of racing and now we're at 40 days. When we increase the number of races, there is certainly a possibility of interference. This is not an excuse and we are there to regulate and do what it takes. I want to emphasize that we are working closely with the police games and GRA in difficult cases.
> Do not you fear an erosion of your income if bettors begin to shift to other races like paris football matches?
Gilbert Merven: The customer is king. He chooses the product he loves. We will be unable to oblige, but we do our best with beautiful races and quality horses. We must not forget that the racing industry, while being a sport, employs today a multitude of people. Like it or not, shopping is the number one distraction from the Mauritian public and MTC is doing its best to improve the quality of the product.
> The GRA for centralization
Hiren Jankee: Value of the day, we do not grant new licenses. On outlets, as the Deputy Prime Minister said in his last budget, we will, as far as possible in the direction of relocation of all bettings outlets in one place, where there not too many homes where there will be no problem bottling and where the police can control the situation. - See more at: