In order to encourage betting shops to take advantage of the event, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) endorsed the proposal to delay the Grand National until after 12 April.
Betting shops are set to reopen on 12 April under the new government roadmap out of the UK’s ongoing COVID-19 lockout, while the famous horse race will take place at Aintree on 10 April.
In the UK betting shops, the wagers made on the Grand National produce approximately £ 1 million in levy payments for the horse racing sector, which has suffered from the financial effects of the pandemic like many sports.
In addition to the betting tax, UK racing typically earns around £ 350 million a year through sponsorship and broadcast rights deals with the gambling industry.
Potential huge boost worth exploring
As the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS) has declined to conduct a review of the betting levy that many have been lobbying for in the horse racing and betting industries, figures in the two sectors regard the Grand National’s delay as offering a possible ‘huge boost.’
Micheal Duger, Chief Executive of the BGC said: “Delaying the Grand National until betting shops are open is definitely an idea worth exploring. I appreciate that this is not without its challenges, but we are willing to do all we can to help iron out any difficulties.
“This would also provide a much-needed and timely boost for racing and the high street after such a torrid year for both.”
Biggest day of the year for betting shops
The day is the biggest day of the year for betting shops, with millions of punters betting on the race for an estimated £ 125 million.
In exchange, these high street stores hire 32,600 employees and pay taxes of about £ 1 billion a year and company rates of £ 60 million.
Furthermore, the BGC also referred to an ESA Retail study which found that 89 percent of betting shop customers combine their visits to high street bookmakers with trips to other local businesses.
Dugher concluded: “Ensuring that the once-a-year punters are able to pop into their local bookies to have a flutter, supporting their local high street, on the world’s most famous horse race would also help make the Grand National a truly national celebration as we begin to reopen the economy.
“And it would ensure that we engage as many people as possible in this great British event, showcasing the fabulous sport of racing.”