MANILA, Philippines - The San Lazaro Leisure and Business Park of the Manila Jockey Club and the Santa Ana Park of Philippine Racing Club held simultaneous races last Thursday, causing confusion at all off-track betting stations (OTBs) and sparking the mass resignation of betting machine tellers employed by both clubs.
The horseowners, the major investors in the local horseracing industry, also expressed apprehension on the future of their earnings as the new schedule of races, which was approved by the Philippine Racing Commission, was implemented late last week where two sets of night races were held one after the other.
The simultaneous races were also held over the weekend.
The new schedules were approved with the entry of a new racetrack in the country – the Metro Manila Turf Club in Malvar, Batangas.
“We were really caught unaware of this thing. This is very confusing to ordinary racing aficionados who only want to enjoy the races. You have to get two sets of racing program and had to carefully study your choices before you place your bets. Baka dun ka sa kabilang karerahan mataya. Magulo yan, nakakahilo,” said one racing fan.
The bettors also had to scramble in choosing their respective bets since instead of the former interval of 30 minutes per race, they were pruned down to 15 minutes.
Another veteran racing aficionado said the new scheduling of the races should undergo an intensive study first in order to see how it would affect the industry. “The Philracom should have spearheaded a study on how this simultaneous racing will affect the local horseracing industry. With the confusion in various OTBs recently, it only goes to show that the racing fans were not properly informed.”
Many OTBs were also seriously affected after more than 180 employed tellers resigned from their respective clubs, leaving many betting machines without any teller last Thursday.