The horse racing industry in the UK is still worth some serious dough – £3.45 billion in 2012 – and despite stiff competition from the online gambling sector that has cut gambling revenues inside the tracks, the industry has managed to keep its pace and stay in the earning pace, all thanks to its “resilience and stability”
The report, called the Economic Impact of British Racing 2013, was published by the BHA and Delloite and determined that the horse racing industry in the UK was worth £3.45 billion, representing a marginal rise since the last report that was published four years ago. When adding inflation into the equation, a minor contraction of around 1.2% was determined, something the report indicated was “only slightly greater than that for the wider economy.”
That being said, the cut that online gambling sites have taken from horse racing industry has been partially offset by revenues from television rights. Last year, the industry generated £173 million from media rights, the area of largest growth in the industry. That number also represented a significant increase from the £104 million the industry earned in the 2009 report.
“British Racing has faced, and largely come through, a significant test,” BHA chief executive Paul Bittar said in the report. “We were never going to be immune to the wider financial difficulties that still prevail, but can all be extremely proud of the scale of our sport’s continued contribution to the British economy. Core industry expenditure of over £1.1 billion and a total economic impact of £3.45 billion are just the headline demonstrations of our importance.”
“Resilience is a recurring theme throughout. This resilience is however no accident, coming instead as a result of the collective steps taken within the sport over the last decade, which includes over £950m of capital investment.”
Indeed, the sport has done a masterful job in keeping interest in horse racing at peak levels. Last year, race courses saw 5.58 million visitors enter their turnstiles, second only to football in terms of the quantity of spectators that attend the events. Equally important are the number of viewers that tune in to watch the races, highlighted by the 8.9 million people that watched the Grand National earlier this year from the friendly confines of their couches.