ECONOMY

Horse racing sinking in value

Greek horse racing is sinking in value on a daily basis, and the government’s handling of the matter is threatening to destroy yet another effort to reduce the size of the state through the concession of a horse race betting license to a private company.

Sell-off fund TAIPED started the process for the permit in spring, but its completion has been delayed due to the absence of legislation that would satisfy the requirements of the two parties that have expressed an interest: PMU of France and local firm Intralot.

As a result, the race course and the permit to be conceded are plunging in value: While a year ago TAIPED was expecting revenues of 40 million euros from the permit, market experts say it cannot hope for any more than 20 million these days.

At the same time amateur owners are gradually withdrawing from the sport and selling their horses to trainers, leaving just 450 horses today from 1,600 in 2007, according to the Jockey Club of Greece.