Racecourse Association asks for more investment from bookmakers

The chairman of the Racecourse Association (RCA), Maggie Carver, has urged bookmakers to invest more in horse racing, claiming that the future of British horseracing is dependent on funds from the gambling industry.

A jockey riding a horse

Carver has called on the gambling industry to invest more in horse racing. © Pexels.

The RCA set up the Racing Authority this year as part of its efforts to increase investment in the sport. The Racing Authority is set to replace the Horserace Betting Levy Board as of April next year.

Former UK minister Sir Hugh Robertson will head up the Racing Authority as Independent Chair.

That move was part of a sweeping reform of the sector and it’s hoped that the Racing Authority will provide much more control over racing’s spending.

Carver also hopes that the Authority will improve the relationship between the sport and bookmakers. However, before it is established next year, Carver has called on bookmakers to commit more funds to racing, saying:

Racing is critically dependent on betting income, and there is a pressing need for the industry to work with bookmakers to invest in initiatives to grow racing betting. A Betting Innovation Group, reporting to the Betting Liaison Group, is being set up to achieve this purpose. We are working more closely now with the Horsemen on joint initiatives to gather information which will better inform our decision-making and we are also looking more widely at demographic and attitudinal changes that will impact racing. It’s a challenging year but I am confident that the RCA, with the support of its members, will rise to the challenge.Maggie Carver, chairman of the Racecourse Association

A new horseracing betting levy scheme, introduced last year, helped to raise almost £95m in its first full year.

The industry continues to increase collaboration with bookmakers and discuss ways to increase betting revenues.

Taking advantage of lulls in the footballing calendar, as well as capitalising on the new lower fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBT) stakes, are recent points of discussion from the British Horseracing Authority.

Bookmakers have ramped up their interest in horse racing in recent months, with a number of operators signing exclusive deals and sponsorships.

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