No-deal Brexit threat to horseracing

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Mar 21, 2018
A no-deal Brexit threatens to disrupt horseracing and the sport’s multibillion-pound betting markets, according to the head of Flutter Entertainment, the owner of bookmakers Paddy Power and Betfair. Peter Jackson, chief executive of the FTSE 100 group, has warned that barriers to the free movement of racehorses in Europe would hit the 1,500 race fixtures held in the UK each year, which generate roughly £11.5bn worth of bets for British gambling companies. “I do have some concern about horses being able to travel backwards between UK and Ireland — it is a real risk to the horseracing industry,” said Mr Jackson of the impact of a no-deal Brexit. But Mr Jackson’s warning was dismissed by horseracing groups and senior industry figures, who said measures were in place to avoid disruption to the sport, even if the British government failed to reach an agreement with the EU. “Saying there will be a problem with Irish runners at the Grand National, or English runners at Punchestown, I don’t see it happening,” said David Redvers, racing manager of Qatar Racing, a leading team based in Gloucestershire.