Following a four-week lockdown extension in the UK, British horse racing is facing detrimental losses
Major horse racing events in the UK have been cancelled, including the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown Park and the Moët & Chandon July Festival in Newcastle, putting equestrians, racing operators and the sports betting industry on edge. While races are continuing, the prolonged absence of large audiences is cutting a substantial portion of revenue, causing complex difficulties for the £4 billion industry.
Course operators have commenced talks with the HBLB to secure a £21 million loan from the winter survival fund. Depending on further developments, industry leaders might seek further support from the Sport Survival Package.
After undergoing a highly optimistic phase of re-openings in the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced to halt the lifting of lockdown restrictions, as the new Delta variant of Covid-19 slowly sprawls through the country, as was reported by the Guardian.
Nevertheless, Johnson set July 19 as target date for all restrictions to be lifted. Using a well-planned hygiene concept, racing courses will continue to be allowed a very limited amount of spectators. This was tested in concordance with the Events Research Programme, allowing 12,000 guests with negative PCR tests. Events that are not part of this programmes, have a limit of 4,000.
The limit had been up since May 17 and will continue as usual. The industry is pushing for a rise in race meeting limitations as well, which are permitted only 10,000 attendees.
SiGMA Roadshow: Next stop Germany
Join us virtually for two engaging hours bursting with insightful conference content and new business opportunities. These unique, interactive, virtual mini-conferences will take place in a different country every month. The stop of this month will be Germany, join the conversation. We'll be covering various topics from localisation of content to regulation trends. Register now!