The Racing Post has teamed up with SIS (Sports Information Services) to host a one-off Betting Shop Champion Awards to honour the efforts of retail betting and gaming personnel during the COIVD-19 outbreak.
Lockdowns have impacted the retail betting market hard, as they have other areas of the UK economy, with high street bookies forced to close their doors for much of 2020 and 2021.
Following months of inactivity, betting shops in England and Wales were able to reopen and resume trading on Monday, April 12th, with Scottish retail outlets following suit later that month, in what the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) characterised as “another step closer to normality.”
The industry’s annual Betting Shop Manager of the Year award was cancelled in both 2020 and 2021 as a result of the epidemic, forcing both the Racing Post and SIS to decide to “do something to honour the “fantastic work” done throughout the industry, according to the publication.
Highlight resilience and determination
Racing Post Chief Executive Alan Byrne said: “We have heard many stories of managers and other people in retail going above and beyond the call of duty to protect the health of their customers and their staff, and simply to keep their shops open for business in the face of the challenges the pandemic has imposed on us all.
“We want to salute those efforts and highlight the resilience and determination that so many people have shown.”
From today through September 3rd, betting shop employees can nominate a colleague via an online form. Eight employees will be shortlisted and honoured at a virtual awards ceremony hosted by Lee Mottershead of the Racing Post on November 17th.
Helen Scott, SIS’s Head of Service Management; former British Horseracing Authority (BHA) Chief Executive Nick Rust, Ibas CEO Richard Hayler, horse racing commentator and TV presenter Tanya Stevenson, and freelance writer and Racing Post contributor Jim Cremin will make up the shortlisting panel.
SIS’s Chief Executive, Richard Ames, added: “It’s been a very difficult time for the industry over the last 18 months, but during this period there will be countless stories of how betting shop managers and staff have gone above and beyond for their customers.
“We are very pleased to be part of these awards and want to recognise the efforts of those who have continued to offer outstanding service to their communities and our industry.
“Good luck to all those who are nominated and I look forward to celebrating our betting shop heroes at the awards.”