Continued downtrend in UK horse racing\’s share of the betting market\’s total turnover

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The UK horse racing\’s share of the new gross profits regime, under which the betting industry pays its dues to the Levy Board and to the Treasury, fell to 49 per cent in 2004 from 57 per cent a year before.

Several leading bookmakers reported that if gross profits from fixed-odds betting machines were taken into account, the horse racing\’s share of the market\’s total turnover would be even lower at 42 per cent, in stark contrast to only five years ago, when it had been close to 70 per cent.

“Horserace betting has clearly suffered a material fall in its share of the enlarged total betting market. Clearly, this problem is not going to go away,” said Rodney Brack, Levy Board Chief Executive.

“In particular, the downward pressure on on-course bookmakers\’ theoretical profit margins, as a result of competitive market forces, and as expressed in the SPs, is a serious concern which the industry will need to study and address,” he added.