Report: Horseracing’s online betting turnover plunges by £1.75bn

New analysis from the Racing Post finds turnover’s failure to rise in line with inflation, as well as affordability checks, suggests the industry has been hamstrung in the past financial year
The post Report: Horseracing’s online betting turnover plunges by £1.75bn first appeared on EGR Intel.  

Horseracing’s online betting turnover fell by the equivalent of £1.75bn in the last financial year, a report by the Racing Post has found.

According to the Gambling Commission’s latest figures, online turnover for racing in 2022-23 stood at £9.12bn, representing a decline of £900m on the previous year.

Factoring in inflation, which the Racing Post said bets on horseracing had “previously closely tracked”, turnover was expected to hit £10.87bn, £1.75bn higher than the released figure.

The expected figure is based on the consumer price index, a measure which tracks the change in prices paid by consumers for goods and services.

The reported decline in turnover comes amid the current furore around affordability checks which critics have claimed will do untold damage to horseracing.

Despite the fall in online betting turnover, gross gambling yield (GGY) rose in line with inflation.

The Racing Post said this indicated operators had increased margins to maintain profitability but it meant “less money is returned to those betting on the sport, raising concerns that racing is becoming a less appealing product”.

Speaking to the publication, British Horseracing Authority (BHA) chair Joe Saumarez Smith said while affordability checks may have played a role in the decline, some of the big “punters” have since turned to the black market.

He said: “You couldn’t say with huge confidence that it [the fall] is all down to checks but clearly they are a big part of it.

“Some of the activity will have gone to the black market but by the very nature of the black market it is hard to know what it is.

“But anecdotally we know that some of the big punters who have been restricted have been betting with the black market because they tell us they are.

“It would be naive to think that those people who have been restricted by regulated bookmakers in the UK because they either don’t want to provide their bank statements or the bookmakers feel their licences would be at risk for servicing those customers, have simply stopped betting,” he added.

Conservative peer Lord Herbert said the figures were troubling and highlighted the need to drop affordability checks – though he did state the exact reason for the fall in turnover was unclear.

He added: “These are deeply worrying figures and they underline the need to rein back affordability checks immediately. It’s not clear what has caused this loss of revenue but clumsy and unnecessary affordability checks can only have added to the damage.

“At a time when the sport faces a major challenge to regain its global competitiveness the government should be backing British racing, not penalising it.”

BHA chief executive Julie Harrington spoke last month about the potential impact the checks could have on the industry. It came after the three-hour Petitions Committee debate caused by Jockey Club CEO Nevin Truesdale’s petition to scrap the proposals.

The post Report: Horseracing’s online betting turnover plunges by £1.75bn first appeared on EGR Intel.

 

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