However, the BHA has raised concerns about the predicted annual loss of between £8.4 million ($10.4 million) and £14.9 million ($18.6 million) as a result of affordability checks on punters.
Horse Racing Industry May Suffer Greater Losses Than Predicted by Government Estimates
The BHA fears that the estimated loss could be an underestimate and that high-staking punters who are gambling within their means, including those who only bet on major events like the Cheltenham Festival, could also be caught up in the checks.
BHA’s chief executive, Julie Harrington, made a point that a punter may be losing a few months after he actually won the sum. Harrington also stated that an economic impact check will be conducted by their team and they are apprehensive that the government’s predicted figures may be too low.
The government’s forecast predicts a drop in betting levy, media rights payments to racecourses, and sponsorship revenue. The Guardian reported that Joe Saumarez Smith, the BHA’s chair, said that the initial discussions with the two main rights-ownership groups, Racecourse Media and The Racing Partnership, suggested the estimate of a drop of up to £6 million ($7.5 million) could be too low.
He further stated that they had just finished a call with the media rights holders who mentioned that they would work on it, but they believed that the initial impact might be an underestimation based on what they had already observed from some of the recent measures that operators had been requested to implement by the UK Gambling Commission.
Horseracing Industry to Remain Adequately Funded, Says Minister Andrew
However, Stuart Andrew, the gambling minister, has reassured the sector that the impact on racing will be minimal, as reported by The Racing Post. He stated that only about 3% of the highest spending accounts will have more detailed checks, similar to those carried out when people buy products through online credit agencies or sign up for some mobile phone contracts. Eight out of ten players will face no checks at all. Andrew has also promised a consultation on how those checks will be implemented.
Andrew also acknowledged the significance of horseracing to the British economy and culture. He has promised that the review of the Horserace Betting Levy will ensure the racing industry remains appropriately funded.
Andrew further explained that they had taken a balanced approach because they were aware that the gambling industry supports thousands of jobs across the country and that British gambling firms are among the biggest and most successful in the world. He added that they did not want to harm their success, but they needed to bring their regulations into the smartphone era.