Letter to Members by the Chairman
Posted on - 01 Dec 2016
As we were about to start the Mumbai Racing Season with full earnestness, the demonetization ruling, has caused a huge dampener, and which has taken the country by storm.As we are a cash transaction based business, as indeed betting is all over the world, the disastrous impact on our finances, already under strain, can be well understood.
In such an environment, one requires faith, when all that we have strived to achieve, is under threat. But in spite of the negative sentiment, we have resolved to move forward and keep our faith intact.
The currency restrictions could not have come at a more inopportune time. Yet, we started the racing season on schedule, and with a flourish, having had to take a string of unpopular steps (cutback in stakes and sacrificing bookmaker stall fees, for example) to keep the show going. Thankfully our surfeit of contributors have continued to support us, and the quality of racing will be largely unaffected as we move towards our bigger days in the next few weeks. Our strong relations with our partners and sponsors, have stood us in good stead, in a time like this.
The introduction of debit/prepaid cards, for laying bets on the totalisator, is a harbinger of times to come. Approvals foronline and telephone betting have been sought, and the Turf Authorities have to petition the Finance Ministry to move towards one uniform rate of betting tax across India, and the evolution of a national tote. These are long term objectives, on which the survival of the sport depends, as well as other statutory reliefs.
We have also sought the support of our principal stake holders- members, owners, bookmakers, breeders and the professionals to help us tide over this unprecedented situation. The Committee will shortly send members a blue print of action taken/ proposed on every front, but no miracles can be expected overnight, and we will all collectively have to endure the pain. We hope members will appreciate this.
We should never underestimate the positive spin off of a crisis. Some of our best work comes when we are in the midst of bad times. When one door closes, another will open. We need time to restore normalcy. The Committee of your Club has been united in confronting these problems as one, and without any politics.
It is perhaps the most challenging and difficult year to be Chairman of the Club. Yet, I take heed from the words“Never lose the dream, no matter how low you go”. And I am hoping it is this dream and our effort, that will ultimately be our victory.
All the best for the festive season,
With my best wishes and regards,