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Horseracing in Tasmania has produced record turnover of A$ 498 million for 2007/08 - up an impressive 30 percent compared to the previous year - and it's largely due to a deal with betting exchange company Betfair, which brought in business from outside Australia, reports the Thoroughbred Times.

TOTE Tasmania's annual report, tabled in Parliament last week, said most of the growth was generated from international customers betting via their online and telephone accounts.

Pari-mutuel wagering totalled A$478 million, up 27 percent compared to last year, with an estimated 70 percent of this growth generated by international customers. TOTE Tasmania's agency arrangement with Betfair provided the company with access to the betting exchange's global customer base of over a million punters and substantially added to the pari-mutuel pools.

In other results, sports betting turnover increased by A$11.8 million, broadcast income through TOTE Sport Radio increased by 11 percent and on course turnover increased slightly as a result of a very strong AAMI Tasmanian Summer Racing Carnival.

TOTE Tasmania chairman Michael Kent said the company distributed a record A$23.7 million to the Tasmanian Racing Industry in 2007/08, up from $20.4 million in 2006/07, confounding the opinion of opponents that Betfair was bad for the traditional horseracing business. He said that TOTE Tasmania is thinking locally and acting globally.

"The industry needs to ensure Tasmanian racing has the widest appeal possible, to both a national and international audience, and can capture opportunities as they present themselves," he concluded.

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