April 10 remains the 2021 Grand National horse race’s official date regardless of the industry’s plea to wait for betting shops to reopen.
England Is Set to Exit Lockdown on April 12
The Grand National horse race will still kick off during the intended time between 8-10 April despite the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC)’s request for the event to be delayed until betting parlors open to increase revenue.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared the government’s plans to have England exit lockdown from April 12. Betting parlors and other non-essential retailers will also be allowed to operate.
The 173rd Running of the Grand National Is Set for April 10
The Jockey Club’s northwest regional director, Dickon White, stated that after consulting stakeholders and examining advantages and disadvantages, the event would still be held on the 10th as was originally intended.
White acknowledged it was a difficult time for both the on-course and off-course betting industries and expressed hope that retail shops would reopen on April 12; however, with the ongoing pandemic, nothing is certain.
Bookies in Scotland Will Not Be Reopening on April 12
According to the prime minister, gambling shops will not be reopening in Scotland, and lifting the England restrictions is only a best-case scenario and far from sure-fire.
White added that with the constant change of timings, the drawbacks of the postponement, along with the uncertain benefits, there wasn’t a serious enough reason to move the UK’s centerpiece racing event just six weeks ahead of it.
BGC’s Chief Executive Criticized the Jockey Club’s Decision
Michael Dugher, chief executive of BGC, criticized the decision describing it as a blow to the retail betting industry. He went on to explain that only a brief delay of the race could have had a positive effect on racing itself as well as on the millions of customers who support horseracing.
According to Dugher, as races are often rescheduled, primarily due to recent bad weather, the Jockey Club’s decision is not justifiable. It would also negatively impact racing amid an already challenging situation.