Steroids scandal doesn’t stop Iwate Keiba’s financial improvement

Despite the unsolved steroids scandal that caused intermittent race suspensions and embarrassed the organization in front of the nation, the Iwate Prefectural Horse Racing Association (Iwate Keiba) recorded its best financial results in fourteen years in FY2018.

Total ticket sales on the year came to over JPY31.3 billion (about $287 million), boosted by increasing internet sales (now accounting for about 2/3 of ticket sales) and improved facilities at Morioka Racecourse, especially the new lighting. Profits reached JPY79 million yen (about $725,000).

Regional horse racing has been improving financially nationwide on the back of expanding internet sales, so in that sense Iwate Keiba’s upswing is not entirely of its own making, but part of the larger trend.