TASMANIAN racing participants have many reasons to be optimistic about their industry's future and should not be deterred by negative comments from minority groups, according to Tasracing chief executive Eliot Forbes.
Dr Forbes said it was unfortunate that ``some isolated sectors of the industry'' refused to share in the optimism and ``prefer to complain and whinge because things have changed from the old days.''
Speaking at the annual thoroughbred awards dinner in Launceston on Friday night, he said that the positives ranged from increased betting turnover to Tasracing's significantly improved financial performance.
``Wagering across the three codes this year increased by 7.7 per cent, with thoroughbred turnover up 11.6 per cent,'' he said.
``By any measure, these are outstanding figures, especially following an 8.4 per cent increase in total wagering the previous year.
``As a result, thoroughbred code stakes will increase by $460,000 this year.''
Dr Forbes said that although he couldn't disclose actual figures until Tasracing's financial accounts were signed, the controlling body had exceeded its performance target.
``With the support of the Racing Minister (Bryan Green), we are committed to improving our financial performance by $1.1 million and we exceeded this target by increasing income and controlling costs,'' he said.
``Workers' compensation costs have decreased by $600,000 as a result of an improved safety record.
``Expenses have also been reduced across recruitment, base salaries, superannuation, legal costs, fringe benefits tax, use of consultants, travel, communications and printing.''
Dr Forbes said that Tasracing was sometimes criticised regarding costs by people believing that its entire labour budget was related to administration.
``The fact is that most of our staff work directly in the business of organising race meetings and preparing tracks,'' he said.
``Administration costs have been reduced to 4.8 per cent of total expenses, down from 7.7 per cent the previous year.''
At the same time, revenue had increased from many sources, including a 6.6 per cent lift in income from race field fees.
Dr Forbes said the situation that occurred in 2011-12 _ when Tasracing recorded a major loss due to the writing down of the value of its assets _ had, to a large degree, been reversed.
``There is no doubt that when we release the results for 2012-13 (they will show) it has been a good year,'' he said.