Sport

Diamond Mile meeting its objectives – BGLC executive director

BY RUDDY ALLEN
Observer staff reporte

Friday, April 20, 2018

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Vitus Evans, executive director at the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission (BGLC), said the third staging of the Diamond Mile in 2017 along with the supporting card of 13 races resulted in a highly successful raceday.

The prestigious Diamond Mile raceday took place on December 2, 2017, with the main feature being the third running of the Diamond Mile which carried a purse money of US$115,000 (JA$14.26 million). The other 13 races on the day featured purses of $1 million and over, which made the race day the richest locally and in the Caribbean.

Speaking at a press conference to announce the 2018 staging of the event at the BGLC head office on Hagley Park Road on Tuesday last, Evans said that the Diamond Mile event from the outset was being undertaken by the BGLC to provide a catalyst to revive the horse racing sector and he believes they have made strides in doing so.

“From the outset, the intention for the Diamond Mile, was for the event to be a catalyst to resuscitate the horse racing sector and achieve some key objectives; namely to contribute to sustainable economic growth, and protect and increase government revenue; to build a new fan base for the sport of horse racing, by identifying new markets and demographic bases of enthusiasts for the sport and to connect the sport with its prestigious history, elevate public perception of horse racing, and create a positive cultural shift for the racing community.

“We believe that in the past three years we have made great strides in achieving these objectives. The success of the Diamond Mile is evidenced by an increase in attendance in the stands at Caymanas Park, in sales for both local and simulcast racing on Diamond Mile Day. The increased demand for tickets and a greater number of guests at the infield experience hosted by BGLC.

“The 2017 Diamond Mile generated a 30 per cent increase in sales over 2016,” Evans informed.

Evans also said that the Diamond Mile has fantastic potential to play a role as a tourism earner and be another attraction for visitors to Kingston.

“Many horse racing enthusiasts visit the island, and we encourage the tourism industry to leverage the opportunity to include a day at the races, as an experience for visitors to enjoy. We invite the local tour operators to work with us, to develop a package to bring visitors to Caymanas Park for the infield experience for the Diamond Mile Race Day 2018,” said Evans.

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