Talking Horses: racecourse bookies fear financial ruin if stands stay empty

By: Greg Wood and Chris Cook Thursday 22 October 2020

In an open letter, an on-course bookmakers’ group has accused the BHA of not doing enough to get spectators back

A group which represents on-course bookmakers said on Wednesday that its members have become “the forgotten cog in the wheel that is the industry of horse racing”. The group also accused the British Horseracing Authority of being “more concerned with preserving behind closed doors status” than getting crowds back to racecourses.

In an open letter to the BHA, the Racecourse Association and relevant government departments and ministers, Lynn Garritty, the chair of the Independent On-Course Bookmakers Group, also said that many racecourse bookies face imminent ruin if limited crowds are not allowed back onto tracks “at the earliest opportunity”. Garritty pointed to the “obvious success of two pilot events at Doncaster and Warwick, where it was proved beyond doubt restricted audiences can safely attend race meetings”.

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