Sports betting operators in the UK agreed to pay extra fees on their existing streaming and data deals until December 2, the day when the second lockdown across the nation is set to expire. The additional cash will give more breathing air to the horse racing industry, which, despite being left to continue, is suffocating due to the lack of live audience at the tracks.
Courses Grateful to Sports Books
The horse racing industry will also be affected by the closure of sports betting shops in UK and Ireland for the forthcoming month, and, similarly to the increase in fees in June and July when betting shops remained shut, bookmakers agreed to pay more again.
“We are very grateful for the betting industry to agree to paying increased fees for the next month, while most of Britain and Ireland will be locked down. Newbury Racecourse has long enjoyed valued partnerships with bookmakers, and we are of course looking forward to the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival this month.”Julian Thick, CEO, Newbury Racecourse
The agreement reached so far with Racecourse Media Group, which provides streaming and data from 35 British and all 26 Irish race courses and is owned by 34 racecourse shareholders, will help the racing industry which derives more than 50% from spectators make up for the funding shortfall. Besides two pilot meetings at Doncaster and Warwick, the race courses across the country have not been allowed to entertain live spectators since March.
Live Audiences at the Race Courses Vital
“Make no mistake, racecourses are really suffering at the moment, and the return of crowds is absolutely critical to us operating but we are grateful for betting industry’s support throughout the difficulties of the Covid-19 crisis.”Julian Thick, CEO, Newbury Racecourse
The financial support for the horse racing industry is a clear sign of the will of the sports betting industry to help race tracks pull through this really critical period, and an evidence of the close collaboration between sports betting operators and race courses, Michael Dugher, CEO of the gambling industry body Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) outlined.
“There has always been a close relationship between betting and racing. So, with the Government’s ongoing Covid restrictions affecting the sport so severely, it’s welcome that bookmakers are stepping up to further support the sport.”Michael Dugher, CEO, BGC
Earlier this month, the BGC called on the Government to start treating betting shops fairly by allowing them to re-open from day 1 after the national lockdown measure expires, alongside other high street premises, and now the BGC vowed to continue with efforts to convince authorities that the return of crowds at the race courses is as much important.