"Our strength is in our solidarity"
For the latest news
Update - July 2020
As many of you will have no doubt seen, there are several news items referring to the resumption of racing at British racecourses.
Members of AGT’s Technical Sub-Committee were invited to discuss with the RCA representatives how we can safely get bookmakers back on the racecourse and resume business. Our representatives have made it clear that we wish to include as many bookmakers as possible when racing resumes but we must make it clear that within the terms of our contracts we (The bookmakers) are not permitted to set or limit bookmaker numbers.
We now await proposals from the RCA and BHA with regard to bookmaker attendances and would urge you all to keep yourself up to date by regularly visiting both the BHA and RCA websites.
Updates across the associations’ websites will appear as and when we have further information.
Here’s looking forward to safely getting back to work.
The Directors, FRB.
Coronavirus - May 2020
The FRB have taken several steps to ensure our members’ concerns are drawn to the attention of the Government during the lockdown.
1. MPs have written directly to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak to highlight the particular needs of the on-course industry. We have stressed it is essential that support is given to us once racing returns, as we cannot earn a living if racing is conducted behind closed doors.
2. We have also been in touch with MPs who have the 59 racecourses in their constituency to ask for their support for the on-course industry. In doing so, we highlighted the differences between on and off course bookmaking to ensure that we are treated differently to bookmakers who have multiple offerings.
3. Via a Member of Parliament who is a member of a key Commons Select Committee, we have made contact with the Permanent Secretary at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Sarah Healey). During a recent Committee hearing with the Permanent Secretary and the Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission, the specific question of support for on-course bookmakers was asked, and Ms Healey suggested the MP contacted her for a more detailed briefing meeting.
4. Next steps will be to review the response from Government to our lobbying once the Chancellor has replied. We will also be drafting written and oral parliamentary questions to keep the pressure up and make sure that Ministers and Civil Servants are aware of the impact of lockdown on FRB membership.
5. We are current working on a proposal to put to racecourses so that all parties are clear what procedures will need to be put in place in order to allow on-course bookmakers to return to work once racing opens to the public.