Assessing the relationship between betting shops and racing

Assessing the relationship between betting shops and racing

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 Posted by Joseph Streeter
The commercial stand off between Ladbrokes Coral and the TRP came to an end last July

Speaking candidly with the Racing Post, Ladbrokes Coral CEO Jim Mullen revealed that his company is in a ‘bind’ when it comes to racing.

After a lengthy stand off between Ladbrokes Coral and the TRP came to end in July, the operator’s most recent results revealed that racing’s contribution to betting shop profits had fallen from 25 per cent in 2008 to 14 per cent in 2016, that’s in spite of the costs of racing increasing by 70%.

The h1 results of Ladbrokes Coral revealed the group reaped the rewards of a hike in digital betting, reporting digital net revenue of £374.5 million, a 17% rise on the previous year.

Mullen said: “In a normal business you would think you would look to rationalise or look to other products but this isn't normal despite what you might think.

"We're passionate about racing, we need it and all we're trying to get across to racing is we're in a bind because not only is it becoming a lot more difficult for us to extract a profit from it but that will eventually impact upon them."

Despite Ladbrokes Coral recording profitable growth throughout the first half of this year when its retail stores weren’t showing racing, Mullen did reveal that not having racing pictures hurt retail business.

Mullen said: "You're not going to go in and place your bet if you can't watch the race so stakes were down,

"Our content costs were reduced so the underlying bottom line profit was there. The question was that as a bookmaker we should be showing the content but it has to be fair and it has to be affordable."

Totally Gaming says: Retail betting shops relationship with racing needs to evolve in order to benefit both parties, bookmakers and racing need to work together to appeal to a much wider audience, younger audience. The move to make racing betting available on Self Service Betting terminals is a smart one as it branches in store betting on racing out to a new market.


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