philinvicta

Does Horseracing have a future in the UK

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Posted (edited)

Although I do not agree with the supposed 100 per month loss limit being proposed by the UK government under its current revue  even if it is raised I am not sure that will stop racing finances being decimated. It has often been reported that bookmakers vast profits  and hence racings  levy income come not from most small punters but from a small percentage of big punters losing very large sums so raising the limits to say 100 per week will still mean these bigger punters will stop betting rather than subject themselves to microscopic scrutiny of their finances by strangers. Also most smaller casual punters  will stop  betting if they have to jump through hoops just to have a bet.  The racing industry would not only lose the levy  income but also the many sponsorship deals that bookmakers  have on many races because I doubt they will  be justifiable if they are not recruiting people to have a bet and also when the profits are under serious pressure these sponsorship deals  will be some of the first things to go.  One only has to look back at what happened to sports such as snooker  when tobacco sponsorship was stopped. It took a long while for it to re establish itself .

Racing has also managed to get an extra income stream from media rights   and the huge fees that shops have to pay just to show the racing . With the FOBT limits  there is no other way these shops can increase turnover to  survive  in their current format.  I would expect future shops to have one or two staff who are basically cashiers who are there to pay out the cash on winning bets and the shops will just have betting machines  that take the bets on all the sports including racing and there will be no live screens in the shop. Basically you will go in do a bet and watch the action elsewhere  and if you win go in get the winning ticket and get a staff member to cash you out. This will mean that the shop spaces can be a lot smaller as well which may mean they are viable.  If checks are brought into these shops then I expect the clientele to disappear quickly.

Already Hills and Paddy Powers are looking abroad  for expansion.  

The horseracing is also suffering from much smaller fields  due to a lack of runners and according to John Gosden   many horses once they get a good rating are sold abroad where they can run for better prize money  and prizemoney is bound to suffer  if the income falls.  During covid the levy board used up reserve funds  to bail out racing and it is unlikely to have enough reserves to help racing.

A few years ago the racing industry increased the number of meetings  and races dramatically to try and get more income and I wonder with a falling horse population whether they will be forced to cut back the numbers just to afternoons again with very few evening meetings or do the reverse and do like we have in Ireland and have more  twilight meetings so that people will attend after work. With the best horses being sold it will also mean that we will get a lot more poorer racing and maybe more all weather.

Also how will on course punters be affected by any limits 

I could see the case where many racecourses are shut down and maybe built upon so they will not ever come back.

Also despite  being British Racing  many of the big strings (and the big stables)  rely on a few large overseas  owners particularly the Arabs such as Goldolphin   and the family of Sheikh Mohammad and a lot of those owners are looking to expand their overseas operations or cutting back on their ownerships . As these owners die off  many of their children will not have the interest in Racing and may only keep a few runners just because the family  wants something to remind them of their fathers.  Cases such as the Niarchos  and Sangsters  would seem to be a pointer  but even though they have runners a lot of what they have run abroad.  I cannot see the children of J P McManus spending anything like the money  on horseracing that he does for instance.

This article from the racing post expresses some fears  but only scratches the surface I think and also the trainers only seem to be worried about racings income and  have no clue about the "punter protection".  

https://www.racingpost.com/news/latest/gambling-review-may-be-bullet-between-the-eyes-for-racing-warns-john-gosden/549758

I also think that racing will struggle big time for staffing due to the fact that the hours are anti social and the wages are poor  and people have far more options nowadays as a career.  I also think unless people are around racing  and exposed then the younger generation will have less interests not to mention many more young people seem to believe any sport that involves the use of animals is inherently cruel no matter how well the animals are looked after.

Anybody else have a view on this ?

 

Edited by philinvicta
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Young Fellas just ain’t into racing these days! give or take a cheeky punt at Cheltenham there is little interest in backing the ponies. The average young punter (20s to mid 30s) will walk to a betting terminal and stick on his/her football bets maybe chucking their spare change into a FOBTs. One of the staff in my local Ladbrokes told me just last week that they are sitting it out waiting on a redundancy package as there is literally no one in the shops nowadays. Take the winter as an example, are people really wanting to risk hard earned money on the total shit that is running on a daily basis?

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10 hours ago, Blacko said:

Young Fellas just ain’t into racing these days! give or take a cheeky punt at Cheltenham there is little interest in backing the ponies. The average young punter (20s to mid 30s) will walk to a betting terminal and stick on his/her football bets maybe chucking their spare change into a FOBTs. One of the staff in my local Ladbrokes told me just last week that they are sitting it out waiting on a redundancy package as there is literally no one in the shops nowadays. Take the winter as an example, are people really wanting to risk hard earned money on the total shit that is running on a daily basis?

Judging by the response it is not just the young ones who have no interest 

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1 hour ago, philinvicta said:

Judging by the response it is not just the young ones who have no interest 

Betting shops used to be sociable and you could chat , watch the races , have a cuppa , and muse over the days events . Now FOBTs have decimated the atmosphere and turned the shops into one stop win or lose 20 minutes max . no one wants to chat and most of the people behind the desk know very little about anything except mobile phones , which they are looking at all the time.... its sad . I will not mourn the loss of such blatant greed , but I do miss the people. 

As for racing as a whole I believe it will continue , perhaps on a smaller scale , with fewer meetings , but perhaps better quality . Where the money will come from I have no clue, but racing will survive the ludicrous attempts to make us all into obedient robots donating 100 a month to the cause . 

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1 hour ago, philinvicta said:

Judging by the response it is not just the young ones who have no interest 

Just rename the threads title “casino complaint” or “where’s the bandit” and u will get immediate response from people who lurk in the shadows …

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I try to go in the local Hills now that the bald fella with the ponytail has given up stinking the place out but its just 4 Chinese fellas that speak their own tongue and get the hump if you look at there Fobts. They also have their coats on the 4 chairs available and who wants to stand for a good session?

It's basically an uncomfortable atmosphere so I always leave after 1 race, the only other folk I've ever seen pop in, use the bet terminal, print the ticket and leave, not a word said to anyone.

And the staff, well, I'm not sure if they're actually human or just some sort of autonomous robots with very poor AI.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, MrUKHackz said:

I try to go in the local Hills now that the bald fella with the ponytail has given up stinking the place out but its just 4 Chinese fellas that speak their own tongue and get the hump if you look at there Fobts. They also have their coats on the 4 chairs available and who wants to stand for a good session?

It's basically an uncomfortable atmosphere so I always leave after 1 race, the only other folk I've ever seen pop in, use the bet terminal, print the ticket and leave, not a word said to anyone.

And the staff, well, I'm not sure if they're actually human or just some sort of autonomous robots with very poor AI.

I’ve been told that about the Chinese, especially shops in England. A fiend of mi e travelled down to York races for the day, he ain’t a FOBT player but he was telling me you couldn’t get near any of them as the Chinese were all over them in every shop, that was pre £2 limit though so they were probably doing their brains in on roulette. Next time your in tell one of them ur from the immigration department, that’ll quieten the place.

Edited by Blacko
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I rarely go in a bookies anymore,  but feel uncomfortable if i do.

They no longer have anything to offer other than fobt addicts.

I don't know what will happen re the proposed limit introductions,  but hopefully common sense will prevail.

 

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The UKGCs attempt to limit our bets in bookies has backfired because just as many people play the FOBTs as before and press the Bar on Roulette like robots , hour after hour with little result . The takings average £3 to £4 k per day and the punters are being fleeced . Exactly the opposite effect that was intended . Of course the UKGC as an instrument of the UK government is just trying to demolish online betting so that we splurge more in the bookies so that Tax revenues may increase , but truly most punters are incensed by the double standards and invasive processes that clearly go against data protection, in the name of expedience. 

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I went in them on national day and it was always heaving and intimidating!

I would also go down to put my nans bets on occasionally, my aim was in and out as quickly as possible. 

No idea what they're like nowadays, maybe I'll pop in one of the 3 within a 10 second walk of each other, to see. 

 

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17 minutes ago, Jok3st3r said:

I went in them on national day and it was always heaving and intimidating!

I would also go down to put my nans bets on occasionally, my aim was in and out as quickly as possible. 

No idea what they're like nowadays, maybe I'll pop in one of the 3 within a 10 second walk of each other, to see. 

 

Your not missing anything.. punters playing Fishing Frenzy on the FOBTs, uninterested staff who find it difficult to move their fat arses off their seats, filthy toilets, 2 dozen screens filled with uninteresting virtual garbage races, same sob stories of non trying jockeys and so forth. The shops will be no more within a decade, 

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29 minutes ago, Jok3st3r said:

I went in them on national day and it was always heaving and intimidating!

I would also go down to put my nans bets on occasionally, my aim was in and out as quickly as possible. 

No idea what they're like nowadays, maybe I'll pop in one of the 3 within a 10 second walk of each other, to see. 

 

National day was a nightmare for regular punters in the shop.

There was me trying to get my 50p win on trap 6 in the 11.00 at Hackney with a queue nearly outside the door

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2 minutes ago, david1111 said:

National day was a nightmare for regular punters in the shop.

There was me trying to get my 50p win on trap 6 in the 11.00 at Hackney with a queue nearly outside the door

How long since you were in a betting shop on National day .  

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2 minutes ago, philinvicta said:

How long since you were in a betting shop on National day .  

A long time, over 20 years

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Solario333 said:

Betting shops used to be sociable and you could chat , watch the races , have a cuppa , and muse over the days events . Now FOBTs have decimated the atmosphere and turned the shops into one stop win or lose 20 minutes max . no one wants to chat and most of the people behind the desk know very little about anything except mobile phones , which they are looking at all the time.... its sad . I will not mourn the loss of such blatant greed , but I do miss the people. 

As for racing as a whole I believe it will continue , perhaps on a smaller scale , with fewer meetings , but perhaps better quality . Where the money will come from I have no clue, but racing will survive the ludicrous attempts to make us all into obedient robots donating 100 a month to the cause . 

When i was younger I would think nothing of being in a shop for hours  and as you say there was often might craic to be had  and I think that was part of the fun of being a gambler.

In recent times there is seldom any joy to be had at all and it is full of sad souls and so I tend to spend my time betting on the net. 

Also in the old days  many of the staff were closer to the customers and tended to know something about the racing unlike nowadays where all decisions are made in head office and the staff are just minimum wage people just there to take money and who have no interest in the business or the customers 

Edited by philinvicta
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5 minutes ago, david1111 said:

A long time, over 20 years

I thought so Hackney closed in 1997 and was actually demolished in 2003.

I think greyhound racing should serve as a warning to the horseracing set as to what is likely to happen.   There are no longer any tracks in London  and a huge number of tracks have shut down and any that survive mainly rely on running meetings just for the betting shops  to survive at all.

There were once over 250 tracks  in the country  I have just seen and now there are 23   

Prizemoney has barely increased  over the decades  and many of the trainers struggle to make a living.  Things have improved a little in recent years but the sport is totally reliant on betting shops to survive . This is something those in racing may take into account because many of them look on the bookmakers  as taking money  out of the sport and do not look at the way they are the only ones promoting the sport . 

At the end of the last century all of the newspapers had pages devoted to the racing  Derby Day was a big mid week event  which most people took an interest in it  but nowadays it barely gets noticed.

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Never liked going in bookies and only did it when the National was one. I have fond memoeries of going into Ladbrooks in the 80s with my dad & grandad, they would always put a bet on whatever race was on before heading into the pub for the afternoon. Our house was always filled with little red pens with white tops lol

Did catch a chat late on the racing channel last night where they were talking about the two horses that had to be put down after the National, I can't remember his name but the burly guy in a suit with the spiked blonde hair was making an impassioned speech in support of Horse Racing and that it shouldn't be lumped in with online casinos and people losing massively on slots.

He thinks if you tinker with the National anymore (speaking about that specifically) that it comes to point there is nothing left to tinker with to protect horses that the National will be the first thing to die off as an event.

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Parasitic bookmakers and Parasitic greed merchants who prey upon the public by offering spurious information on the outcome of a race , while they have the inside information cosily sifted away to the few who gain every day leeching money from the poor and increasing the wealth of the rich . 

Racing is a pure sport and should not be sullied with the avarice and manipulative antics of the TV pundits ...and the ex jockeys minted by years of corrupt racing .

So very few races are free of the Bookmakers measure as prices are no longer fair or representative of true it form . 

Racing must change to be more representative of the beauty of the sport and less of the monetary advantage  it gives those in the know.  Most punters are fleeced every day as horses underperform to meet the needs of greedy people , hiding in the shadows. 

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1 hour ago, Solario333 said:

Parasitic bookmakers and Parasitic greed merchants who prey upon the public by offering spurious information on the outcome of a race , while they have the inside information cosily sifted away to the few who gain every day leeching money from the poor and increasing the wealth of the rich . 

Racing is a pure sport and should not be sullied with the avarice and manipulative antics of the TV pundits ...and the ex jockeys minted by years of corrupt racing .

So very few races are free of the Bookmakers measure as prices are no longer fair or representative of true it form . 

Racing must change to be more representative of the beauty of the sport and less of the monetary advantage  it gives those in the know.  Most punters are fleeced every day as horses underperform to meet the needs of greedy people , hiding in the shadows. 

Point is if the bookies do get his information   it is coming from within the racing fraternity .  Racing sold its soul long ago including when it agreed that race names could be changed from their traditional names  to names of sponsors so that people no longer get the history  of years of the same race and the winners it produces.  It realised its mistake too late  by having "heritage" races but it was not prepared to give up the funds it was producing. 

Where there is money involved  there will always be some skulduggery going on   and racing believes it has a handle on this but if truth be told they do not have a clue what they are dealing with.  Even football was shocked when the floodlights were  knocked out  to get a game abandoned  due to some liabilities in Asia and markets they had no clue were even there. The same with cricket and the no balls scandal.  Racing may find that its champion jockey having a drugs problem is the least of its problems over next few years especially if as they seem to want to they expand in to markets they have no idea of.  They seem to think all they have to do is beam pictures  and open betting pools in these countries  and they can sit back and collect their cut. As far as I know nobody was ever caught for knobbling the horses in the stables with drugs . There were even rumours that Phar Lap was killed by the mob in the US to stop potential liabilities  but even though the security measure are better  nowadays  they will always be one step behind the crooks

In Ireland Racing gets funding via the government and does not come under the Sports Ministry but the Agriculture department.

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Me as a decent gambler has never stepped foot inside a bookies. I was sort of tempted to go into one, just to see what its all about but if you look inside it just looks so incredibly shite that the temptation and interest suddenly poofs away🤣

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I used to love spending the day in the bookies. Used to get on with all of the older gentlemen most of whom were lovely...some didn't approve of a woman in there! We all used to stand and cheer our horses on. Felt like a little community. All changed when the FOBTs took over. Lots of people hovering and waiting to get on one.. Myself included! That's when my addiction started. Miss those days (minus the FOBTs!) 

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1 hour ago, TheBingoKingx said:

a decent gambler

:face_with_monocle:

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12 minutes ago, Chrissy_M said:

I used to love spending the day in the bookies. Used to get on with all of the older gentlemen most of whom were lovely...some didn't approve of a woman in there! We all used to stand and cheer our horses on. Felt like a little community. All changed when the FOBTs took over. Lots of people hovering and waiting to get on one.. Myself included! That's when my addiction started. Miss those days (minus the FOBTs!) 

Do you remember the days of the tannoy system and the chalk boards with the prices @Chrissy_M?

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10 minutes ago, Blacko said:

Do you remember the days of the tannoy system and the chalk boards with the prices @Chrissy_M?

🤔 No I'm not that old 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 We did have to get the results from teletext though if not at the bookies (or sometimes my dad would use the landline phone much to mum's horror!! 🤣 🤣) !! 

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I only put my BTTS Sat bet on in the bookies purely because there is no temptation to cash out it's all or nothing.  You just get so much better value online than you do in the shop, extra places etc.  I did go in on National day purely to play the FOBTs as I'm certain they crank up the win percentage to get new punters hooked as I've noticed for years now they play so much better on National day and yes I did good on them.  But my National bets were placed online as they were paying out more places.

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