As an on course Bookmaker at Lingfield it was dissapointing to see last Saturday’s racecard reduced to just five races with the trainers protesting against the drop in prize money at the track.
Obviously you feel for the owners as having a racehorse is expensive however ARC is a business and any going concern that is going to have their income massively reduced are surely acting prudently in reducing their overheads.
I think the vast majority of people thought bookmakers were crying wolf when they said if the maximum stakes on FOBT’s were dropped to £2 there would be mass shop closures. Time will tell but I believe at least half the current LBO estate will be lost over the next 2 to 3 years. The closures have started already even before April.
Unfortunately it won’t just be racehorse owners who will be victims of the closures; thousands of jobs will be lost and a number of people who love to go in betting shops will have that facility taken away.
What solutions are there to fill the gulf in lost revenues?….possibly its time to take another close look at betting exchanges where the millions of pounds turned over by unlicensed individuals returns a fraction back to racing compared to traditional bookmakers.