The Horserace Betting Levy is probably the only surviving subsidy in the UK and it has survived because of racing’s great skill with PR, which is directed toward maintaining and improving the levy at all costs. However, as this article expertly explains, the problem is that racing started to believe its own PR that the product was infallible and that everyone would pay regardless of price. As a result it is suffering terminally.
Indeed, with the exception of Hong Kong, the sport of kings is dying the world over and needs to somehow learn to stand on its own two (or should that be four) feet in order to reverse its grim prognosis. It needs to diversify.
Perhaps it can take a leaf out of Australia’s book where the government has agreed to hand out $150m in return for the proceeds of a new computerised racing game called Trackside. Time for racing to start thinking outside the horsebox, gentlemen. Read more.